Aesop's Fables: A New Translation
. Oxford University Press . Oxford
PA3855.E5 G533 2002 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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What a fine book! It delivers, I believe, what Robert and Olivia Temple promised. I think its chief accomplishment is that it presents the ancient Greek and Latin collections fully. In addition, there are links to the sources, and a good bibliography of these. The fables are well translated,with helpful comments appended to them. In keeping with the quest for completeness, there are often variant versions given of what would be the same Perry number but now has two numbers and two texts in Gibbs, e.g. 31-32, 40-41, 111-112, 139-140, and 255-256. The organization of the fables is novel. The main divisions are excellent. Fables themselves (#3-498) are separated from Aetiologies, Parodoxes, Insults, and Jokes (#499-600). Within the fables themselves, Gibbs offers groupings like Slaves and Masters, Animal Kings, Choosing a King, The Flock, and Self-Destruction, to take the first five. There must be seventy or eighty such groupings. I am sorry that Gibbs or her editor does not give an overview or outline of these topics somewhere. Indices at the end of the book track first Perry numbers, then sources, and finally all the people, animals, and things referred to. I will use this book a great deal.