Der Äsop-Roman: Motivgeschichte und Erzählstruktur
Holzberg starts his Vorwort by noting that interest in the ancient novel had developed but that this text was strangely neglected while critics attended to Petronius and Apuleius. He mentions that the Vida de Lazarillo de Tormes has in its first chapter an episode very like the first episode in the Aesop-novel. The main character cleverly outtricks his tricker by making him regurgitate stolen food. One of the most fascinating parts of this collection of contributions from various authors is the long English-language bibliography, divided into a number of parts. Apparently the portion of the Life of Aesop in Babylon and Egypt goes back to the fifth century before Christ, namely to the Achikar-Roman. The Greek vita Aesopi was translated into Latin in 1448 by Rinuccio da Castiglione, and Steinhöwel edited it and added his own German translation in 1476/77 and added excellent woodcuts. These elements helped to make Steinhöwel's Aesopus into a bestseller. Maximos Planudes in the thirteenth century was not the author of this vita. The two views that lie at the basis of this work came out of a seminar Holzberg did in Munich in 1991-92. The author of the imperial period original version of the Aesop-Roman did not string episodes together arbitrarily but rather had a single narrative concept, inspired in great part by the Achikar-Roman. In short, he created a new literary work from material he himself created. Secondly, the logoi are used in the work not for their own sake but to highlight a meaning for the particular biographical context. This book brings together the papers written for that colloquium with the bibliography prepared before the colloquium for scholars around the world. This latter was thus prepared in English. I cannot get into the book further now. I look forward to that pleasure!
Gunter Narr Verlag