Aesop in Mexico
A very nicely produced sideways book. Basically trilingual, it provides the Nahuatl text of the forty-seven fables, with German and English translations, illustrations from Mexico at the same time, notes and bibliography. T of C on 52-55. Four indices (Latin, Nahuatl, German, and English) on 256. The very good introduction led me to expect more differences from Aesop, for which the almost certain source is the Accursiana. Some of the transformations include the following. The snowbound condition of the farmer in #14 is described this way: A man was cut off on his field, I don't know, for what reason. The fox becomes a coyote, the peacock a quetzal-bird, the cock a turkey, and the lion a jaguar. The Nahuatl seizes on every opportunity for dialogue and direct speech. This presentation of some of the fables makes them more intelligible to me (particularly #22 and #33), but #4 I still do not understand. In #6 the statue (of a beautiful female) lacks a heart, as the coyote caressing it finds out. The Hares and the Frogs (#37) may be the best fable here, well told, well expanded, strong psychologically. There are pleasant little designs on the left-hand pages, usually not of fables but of items mentioned in the fables. Fables against the rich seem strong here; gold for the Aztecs was God-shit !
Gebr. Mann Verlag