Aisopos: Sieben Berichte aus Hellas: Der Aisopos-Roman neu übersetzt und nach den Quellen ergänzt
. Aufbau-Verlag . Berlin und Weimar
Language note: German
PA3851.A4 1969 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
Language note: German
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Aufbau-Verlag newly copyrighted this work in 1969 and I follow their lead. The book was originally published by Aufbau Verlag, then in Berlin only, in 1956. They make no reference to that edition here. That edition included a map at the end that is not in this copy. I will repeat here remarks I made on that edition. This seems an important work on a fascinating subject. The Columbia Dictionary of Modern European Literature says of it: The novel 'Aisopos,' his masterpiece, presents a life struggling for freedom and justice. I gather that Bronnen shapes his life of Aesop around seven fictional reports -- from, for example, the slave-handler Ophelion, the philosopher Xanthos, the slave Sosos, and the prostitute Rhodopis. From what I have read, Bronnen sees in Aesop a hero of the kind of humanity Bronnen came to embrace in the communism of the German Democratic Republic. Bronnen himself is a fascinating man who came from being close to Goebbels and involved in a menage-a-trois with him to being a close associate of Bertold Brecht. I tried a few pages from the report of Rhodopis. Bronnen's writing grows out of a strong perspective apt for the character, and the story is engaging. I hope to read more. I am sorry that this work has not, for all I can tell, been translated into English. Helpful to me has been Andreas Beschorner's article in Der Äsop-Roman, edited by Niklas Holzberg. Beschorner corrects Pack Carnes' presentation in his fable bibliography that the work is basically a translation. For Beschorner, Bronnen makes out of the clever slave of the ancient Aesop novel a Marxist pre-fighter for freedom, who alone with the help of only the word protests against cruel suppression by the monocapitalistic upper class (my translation). Several pages at the book's end offer first help on reckoning time, names of months, and offices; then textual sources and important works for interpreting them; and finally a fold-out map. The covers have experienced some water-damage.