. Capra Press . Santa Barbara, CA
PS3553.O633 A67 1986 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Capra Back-To-Back, Volume VIII. With The Plot of the Mice by Brian Swann. Thirty-three of the most biting pages I know about fables. The book makes a good antidote for the presumption that fables are saccharinely cute and for children. The old lion is dying, with the fox nearby. Aesop the fabler is also facing his final hour as he goes deep into the forest to the lion's cave and then runs from it, presumably into the arms of the outraged citizens of Delphi. The eye-illustration on 18 may be the best of a stimulating and appropriately weird lot. See 20 for a sample of the action: Aesop makes his way to the old lion's cave past the fox eating the heart of the stupid deer. The animals have turned on Aesop, as they will soon turn on the dying lion. Aesop continues to examine their excrement. In the midst of ruminations and fears and preparations, a turtle trying to master flying plummets through the sky (25-6; mentioned earlier on 20, he finally hits the ground next to the lion on 36). The lion tells Aesop (29) pointedly Wit will not get the better of strength. Ever. Finally the animals move in together against the lion to devour him (33), just as the Delphians attack Aesop. Aesop becomes another Socrates as state-victim unleashing revenge (34). The final scene is the death of the lion, who fights back and loves it! Coover must touch on a hundred fables in this novella-length booklet. My hat is off to him for a great work. I discovered it first in the L of C and was delighted later to find a copy on the Internet.