The Prince and Other Modern Fables
. Puffin Books . New Delhi ,
PK1722.A2 G78 2003 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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These are prose poems with the excellence I have come to expect from Tagore. For Tagore, stories are as real as history. In learning, the story always wins. Eventually, at the end of his tether, the mentor tries to compromise by blending the story with a sermon. But eternally incompatible, the two never fuse smoothly. Burdened, the story cracks and the moral slides out, leaving only a pile of rubbish (6). Well said! The fairy reveals herself by going away, and she can never be found again (13). Do not miss The Picture (24). I do not know if it is more about art or about having a soul. I find Tagore especially good on sexuality, e.g. in Liberation (51), First Heartache (79), and Ingrate Sorrow (92). Tagore's stories reach beyond the usual world of fable, I think, as in The Wrong Heaven (103), which asks serious questions about purpose in life, and in The Spectre (119), which asks about the influence of revered teachers and gurus.