Die Schiffbrüchigen oder Die Fabelinsel
This is a delightful book. I am happy to see that it is dedicated to Klaus Doderer. He deserves it! The supposition here is a shipwreck leaving people stranded on an island. To pass the time, they decide to tell fables. The book becomes a tour de force of variations on the fable theme, often organized by time measurements. Thus there are seven fable for seven days of the week, ten fables for our ten fingers, twenty-six fables for the letters of the alphabet, and fifty-two fables for the weeks of the year. The T of C on 143-44 shows these groups of fables, the first a set of seven from a dove cornered by an eagle. She tries a Scheherezade stratagem: she will tell him stories while she uses her tail-feathers to widen an opening behind her to freedom. Her first fable is good: 112 spiders should not have written a thank-you letter to the artist that had let his house get overrun. Spinnendank macht Menschen keine Ehre (15). Next comes Der Sängerkrieg der Heidehasen, an allegedly old fable presented here in ten cantos. Next is a group of twelve fables. Still to come are a Fable-Abc and a Fable-Calendar. For those wanting a fast start in the book, try a few entries from the last portion. Door and Window (133) is a good example. Proud window says to door People can see through me. The door slams shut, and the window shatters. Now people can also go through the window! Take that, proud window! The colored illustrations show spirit and delight. Do not miss the decoration in the book's cloth cover underneath the dust jacket. It is lovely too!