Fábulas sin Moraleja y Finales Cuentos

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The fables section of this surprising book (3-62) includes six fables from Aesop, seven from Iriarte, eight from La Fontaine, and six from José Rosas (Moreno?). Finales de Cuentos includes sections given to Vanegas Arroyo, Perrault, Grimm, Andersen, De las Mil y Una Noches, and a final group of stories including Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver, Rip van Winkle, Pinochio, Peter Pan, and Alice. One surprise for me lies in the nice linoleum cuts, one to a fable. Among the best of these are OF (7), the monkey and the magpie (21), the monkey dressed in silk (27), and the young and old rat at a trap (55). The other surprise is that the versions of traditional stories presented here are often creative. They tend to take the traditional version for granted and to offer a creative reinterpretation or extension of its events. For example, the ox stooping down to drink happens to puncture the expanded skin of the bloated frog in OF (7-8). In Monterde's version of AD, the dove brings back to the hunter the misfired arrow, and the hunter, surprised, forgets about his pain and the ant (9-10). The telling here of the fable of the mountain and mouse involves the history of the mouse, who has fled from the city's dogs and cats and who thinks that the rumbling of the mountains is the barking of dogs. Only the fabulist notices the mouse, while everybody else is looking for the son of the noisy mountains (13-14). The trusting cicada had hoped for something from the ant, and he loses his transparent wings. The smug ant finds the cicada singing the same song the next spring as he had last summer (33-34). The fox who jumps into the well to get the cheese is the same fox who just wheedled a cheese out of the crow (35-36). Only one of the three sons gets his father's idea and works the land energetically (37-38). WC is about the second time that the wolf has something caught in his throat; remembering the first time, the crane gets the wolf lodged between the limbs of a tree and then calls the townpeople to take vengeance on him (39-40). The donkey in a lion's skin meets other donkeys and fears that they are lions in donkey skins! The other donkeys fear that this is a lion tricking them by imitating their braying (41-42). With this creative work on the fables, I can only imagine what kinds of endings Monterde gives to the other traditional stories! Formerly in the Pittsburgh, Kansas, Public Library. Apparently no one ever took the book out! The spine is starting to separate from the covers.
University of Mexico Press
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