Also Sprach der Marabu: Neue Fabeln
Rocafuerte, José Maria
There may have been an earlier printing of this book in 1965, though I find no trace of it at Choosebooks.com in Germany, which offers copies of a 1975 second, a 1981 third, and a 1984 fourth edition. Kurt Kauter was a communist writer with themes of peace and international friendship. This little (4½ x 7¼) book has 147 pages of text frequently illustrated, an epilogue, and a T of C. I read the first five fables and find them solidly in the tradition of Aesop, Phaedrus, La Fontaine, and Lessing. In the first fable, the Marabu finds all the animals right and wrong when each claims to be the greatest. Each of you is greatest for himself. And it would be bad for the future of life if each of you did not wish to become more perfect (7). A churchmouse pictures God as everything that the mouse is not: silky fur, pointy ears, green eyes, and an impressive moustache. The mouse meets a cat on the top altar step and wonders if she is God. The question gets an answer when the mouse is eaten (11). In Selbstkritik (13), the polar bear and the grizzly bear forgive each other and belittle each other's faults, only to attack the bamboo bear for eating some shoots! The fables tend to criticize standard human weaknesses and societal mores and to promote Kauter's themes of peace and international friendship. The caricature-like illustrations tend to simple geometric forms, especially rectangles.
Greifenverlag zu Rudolstadt