Das Hausbuch der fabelhaften Fabeln

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Authors
Zimmermann, Pedro
Issue Date
1989
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Book, Whole
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I really like this book! The art (on both sides of inserted pages) is delightful. It puts animals into human settings, as on the cover where a pig dives off of a diving board into a pond. Another haunting image faces 161: a tree in the middle of the ocean. The book forms an outstanding example of one-to-a-page stimulating, wiseacre fables. As the Nachwort (especially 197) explains, this edition favors prose, the ironic, and the non-didactic. Zimmermann finds that Phaedrus began the process of making the Aesopic fable pedagogical and literary. He reworks all the Aesop, Phaedrus, Babrius, Romulus, and Steinhöwel that he presents. There is no LaFontaine in this book! If the fable on 41 is from Babrius, it is new to me! Pestalozzi's The Old Bear on the Fir Tree (91) is fine. Heine's The Dog with the Master's Meat (131) is another great fable. Typical of this book's challenge are Schopenhauer's Die Stachelschweine (153), Brecht's Die Hilflose Knabe (165), and Schnurre's Gehorsam (189). Anouilh's contribution (133) keeps the same tone, but it is Zimmermann that calls this fox a Jesuit. At last Krylov's The Swan, the Pike, and the Crab (169) makes sense to me: these three could have pulled the cart, but they went in different directions. Dario Fo's Obszöne Fabel (187) is something else!
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Haffmans Verlag
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