Longing for Darkness: Kamante's Tales from Out of Africa.
Beard, Peter H
. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich . NY ,
DT433.542.K35 1975 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
MetadataShow full item record
A weird and wonderful find! I noticed the book several times and finally took it off the shelf. What a surprise when I found a chapter of fables! What we have here is the product of a complex process. Kamante Gatura related the tales to Beard, who transcribed them and gave them to Kamante's sons to translate and then to write out by hand. The final chapter claims to be Kamante's versions of some twenty-one fables that Dinesen told. Several, like FG and OF, seem to be heavily dependent on Caxton, but then OF here ends with a bursting frog, whereas Caxton had the ox step on the frog. Are the charming, simple watercolors illustrating them really Kamante's own? The best of the illustrations for me are OF, GA, FK, The Antelope, the Monkey, and the Leopard, and TH. Two things are especially charming here: the scriptos (or whatever handwritten typos are), and the transposition of animals; thus Piraeus becomes Mombasa, and The Fox and the Eagle becomes The Jackal and the Vulture. A real favorite of mine!