After Aesop: Improvisations on Aesop's Fables
. Hamilton Books: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group . Lanham, MD
PN6162.C37 2010 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
MetadataShow full item record
True to the character of this book, I will say that it provides me a learning experience. First, I bought the book from an Australian dealer because I could not find it here in the USA. Now I see that Amazon is selling it for $33.99. I paid almost twice that! Amazon lists its beginning date in September of 2010, five months after I bought it. My second realization is that this is a book I could have written! Carter consulted the editions by Temple, Gibbs, and Townsend. Then he created these improvisations. For most of the fables, the procedure seems the same. He tells the fable in traditional fashion and then assigns a witty moral. The one page of introductory material consists of two excerpts from Wikipedia. The fables are one to a page for 226 pages. There is no T of C or AI. Here are a few samples. The pregnant woman and the bed (5) is told in traditional fashion, including the climactic line My dear, it hardly makes sense that my suffering should end in the very place where it was conceived! Carter's addition: Just because you make your bed doesn't mean you have to lie in it. CJ is told in traditional fashion with this following comment: Pearls before swine are one thing, pearls before roosters quite another (7). The man with two mistresses gets this: …And both mistresses loved him all the more, for everyone knows bald men are more virile than men with hair (35). I do notice that some narratives are themselves changed. The bear says that he loves people and thus never eats human carrion and the fox asks why he then kills living people (49). 'You know,' replies the bear, 'I never looked at it that way!' It is good to see someone having fun with Aesop this way. My last question is: was this book perhaps printed on demand?