Fabeln und Erzählungen

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Johann Heinrich Merck; Hermann Bräuning-Oktavio
Issue Date
1962
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Wikipedia says this: "Merck distinguished himself mainly as a critic; his keen perception, critical perspicacity and refined taste made him a valuable guide to the young writers of the Sturm und Drang. He also wrote a number of small treatises, dealing mostly with literature and art, especially painting, and a few poems, stories, narratives and the like; but they have not much intrinsic importance." So much for Merck! I tried three of his fables and did not find them overwhelming. When anthologies take from him, they usually take "Der Adler und die Taube" (88). The eagle asks mother dove for one of her brood – or else! When she resists, he threatens with Zeus' power. She answers that she is safe in her house. "You use the gods' power to arm yourself: what a comfortable religion!" In "Der Hund, das Pferd, und der Stier," each of the three beasts complains to Zeus that it was created for happiness and is not finding it. As I read the fable, Zeus answers each by giving them the gift to put up with the ugly behavior about which each has just complained! It seems that the moral says that present politics protects the "old forms" (111). "Der Weisse Pfau" says that the praise we give our friend is praise for us too. It contains the thought "He is a lot like me" (68).
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Eduard Roether Verlag
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