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The Philosopher Stories

The Philosopher Stories

By Jerry Levy

The dozen stories in this collection chronicle the life of Karl Pringle, a wannabe philosopher who had once been enrolled in the graduate Philosophy program at the University of Toronto where he imagined himself as an Ubermensch, a Superman derived from the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzche. But he was summarily dismissed from the program after punching out his academic supervisor. Now Karl lives in a decrepit apartment above a butcher shop in Toronto’s Kensington Market, is unemployed and very much rootless. The stories in The Philosopher Stories follow Karl as he moves from one strange episode to another, none of which end well. Although Karl likes to think of himself as an Ubermensch, in the bleakest moments following his many mishaps, he seems to know better, that perhaps he is only fooling himself with his grandiose dreams. That he is nothing more than one of life’s rejects, an out-and-out failure. Nuanced and multilayered, funny and yet achingly sad, these stories depict a young man grappling with life’s big questions, including love, finding a place for oneself in an uncaring world, morality, success, and fate.


(Essential Prose)


220 pages |

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About the author

Jerry Levy's first collection of stories, Urban Legend, came out with Thistledown Press in 2013. In 2020, his second collection, The Quantum Theory of Love and Madness, was published by Guernica Editions. His stories have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies in Canada, the US, and the UK. He lives in Toronto.