The Garden of Joys
. Saqi Books . London
PN6261.C3 2000 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This is the paperback version of a hardbound book published in 1979 by Namara. I notice four changes in the transition. Now Saqi is publisher. Secondly, the Foreword here is a rewriting of the old Preface. This statement has undergone good development. Cattan includes more specific mention of the gifts of Arabian Nights and Kalila and Dimna and expands the explanation for the criteria of selection. Thirdly, the black-and-white illustrations may have lost a bit of sharpness in the transition to this new format. Fourthly, there seem to be some changes in the text and particularly in their titles. The old The Astrologer and the Well, for example, has become The Astrologer's Misfortune. The text seems generally the same but is newly typeset. The cover illustration is taken from the same picture used by the dust jacket in the 1979 edition. I include comments I made then. This is a delightful book in three sections. The last two sections tell Joha stories and give isolated proverbs: both seem good and lively. The first section mixes fables and anecdotes of good humor, frequently salty. There are several that I do not get. I find nine Aesopic fables in the group, four illustrated: The Astrologer's Misfortune (25), WC (43), The Goat on the Roof and the Wolf (50), and The Cat Who Sat As Judge Among the Mice (54). Two fables are told in unusual form: The Camel and Its Load of Salt (30) and 2W (111; the man loses his beard!). Other fables include The Lion, the Wolf, and the Fox (17), BC (49), and The Lioness (81). The illustrations are simple.