The Legendary Life and Fables of Aesop
Miller, Mary Anne
Muscarella, Grace Freed
. Mayant Press . Toronto
PA3855.E5 L444 2006 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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I am surprised and happy to find a new translation of Aesop into English prose. It is also nice to see Grace Muscarella's delightful designs back. One thinks one is reading Lloyd Daly again! The book offers 126 fables. I can find no obvious principle of organization, and there is neither an AI nor a T of CI. There is a helpful list of morals separated at the back, as in Daly's book. I read the first five fables and find them well told. New here are not only the version of the life and the versions of the fables but the illustrations for the life. At least in this printing, they come out quite sketchy. Still, it helps the reading of the life. Anthony's preface is careless in its history. Was Demetrius Phalareus a philosopher? Did Babrius bring together Demetrius Phalareus and Phaedrus? Steinhoewel (not Stainhowel) published in 1476, not 1480. She expresses gratitude to Caxton, Townsend, Jacobs, and Daly. What she has to say, especially on xi, concerning the contribution of fables today is very well put. Perhaps their appeal lies in their ability, in a world that is changing so fast, to lure us back to our ancient roots -- to a time of innocence when stories were told to bring morals across in a simple, graceful and humorous style. As such, these fables will always find a special place in us and in the hearts of children. They can remind us that we all are partakers of this rich heritage and that though our surroundings may change, human nature does not change, and we are all connected as members of the same human race from the beginning of time.