The Unbroken Web: Stories and Fables
. Crown Publishers . NY ,
PR6051.D345 U5 1980 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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By the author of Watership Down, this book presents first-person narration of some nineteen folktales. A specific narrator tells the story to a group of hearers in a specific time and place. As dreams express something to an indvidual, folktales express something to us; for Adams, folktales are collective dreams. The unbroken web is a sphere that soaks up, transmutes, and is charged with human experience…. The storyteller reaches up and brings down a part of that sphere and then releases it, and it springs back and continues in rotation. However, when hearing or reading the stories, we should not be preoccupied with meaning. Some meanings may have disappeared; today, subconscious and psychological meanings may be especially perceptible. But the tales will outlast their meanings. The unbroken web is impenetrable. The first of the stories, Cat in the Sea, is a version of the I left my liver at home story. As Gilbert's illustration for The Giant Eel shows, some of the stories touch on deep issues of sexuality, conflict, and survival. I also read and enjoyed The Mice in the Corn and The Iron Wolf. Adams is right: these stories touch on deep issues and experiences. The four I read move well beyond fable into well presented folktale. The colored illustration for The Iron Wolf (100-101) may be one of the strongest. The book was published in England as The Iron Wolf and Other Stories.