Fabeln von Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim
"This delightful little volume was a "Liebhaberabdruck für die Freunde des Volksverbandes der Bücherfreunde" and was not for sale. Lessing's fables are always stimulating. One forgets perhaps how droll and clever he is! There are three books of fables here on 67 pages. This little book presented me with a major surprise. I have paged through Bodemann's Volume II of "Das Illustrierte Fabelbuch" for years and loved the little design at the top of 216. Imagine my surprise when I see it here as the frontispiece! Is that a fox underneath a giant talking head with wig? I could wish that the reproductions of Olshausen-Schönberger's hand-drawn illustrations were sometimes more distinct, but they are witty. Notice the composition of ass's head and human hand on 18: I find that combination just right for the fable. I think she also gets it just right in presenting the fox and ape on 20. "Name one animal I cannot imitate!" "Name one animal that would want to imitate you!" In the next image, the wolf weeps over the shepherd's bad luck in losing his herd to drought. Yes, he suffers from his neighbor's loss, so I guess he can feel pity. Olshausen-Schönberger underscores the youth of the horse's rider on 22 by making him naked. The horse answers the bull's "I would never let myself be ruled by a boy" with "I would. What is the honor in throwing off a child?" One picture pleases me especially: the wolf on his deathbed admits that he has done lots of evil, but also some good. He once spared a lamb that he could have eaten. The fox confirms, adding that it was just after the crane had removed a bone from his throat -- and still suffered, one can presume (36). The cover is surprising: Diana and a fox dance deliriously! Half leather cover."
Volksverband der Bücherfreunde: Wegweiser-Verlag