BOOK REVIEWS

Aesop's Fables (Illustrated by Arthur Rackham with an Introduction by G. K. Chesterton) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-04-26 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:1420953001
LANGUAGE:English

"قورباغه‌هایی که می‌خواستند شاه داشته باشند.

این حکایت به زمانی باز می‌گردد که قورباغه‌ها شاهی نداشتند و از این بابت ناراحت بودند. آن‌ها نماینده‌ای به خدمتِ ژوپیتر، خدای خدایان، فرستادند تا او شاهی برایشان تعیین کند. ژوپیتر از اینکه قورباغه‌ها کسی را می‌خواهند که بر آنها حکومت کند، دلخور شد و تکه کنده‌ای در دریاچهٔ قورباغه‌ها انداخت و گفت: «این هم شاهتان!» قورباغه‌ها ابتدا از آن کندهٔ درخت ترسیدند و زیر آب رفتند. کمی که ترسشان ریخت، روی آب آمدند و دیدند که انگار آن کندهٔ درخت کاری به آنها ندارد. آهسته جلوتر آمدند و بالاخره سوار کنده شدند، ولی دیدند باز هم آن شاه کاری به آنها ندارد. ناراحت شدند و احساس کردند که با وجودِ آن شاهِ آرام و بی خیال، غرورشان جریحه دار شده است. دوباره نماینده‌ای به سراغ ژوپیتر فرستادند و گفتند که این شاه نه حرفی می زند، نه کاری به آنها دارد و به درد نمی‌خورد. ژوپیتر دلسردتر از بارِ اول، لک لکی را به پادشاهیِ آن دریاچه برگزید. از آن پس لک لک دور دریاچه راه می‌رفت و دائماً سر قورباغه‌ها جیغ می‌کشید و حرف می‌زد و تا جایی که شکمش اجازه می‌داد، از آن‌ها می‌خورد و وظیفه‌اش را به نحو احسن انجام می‌داد.
" said.

"Wow, was this collection of the Fables different from what I remember reading as a child. As the translator points out, we now think of fables as children’s literature, but they were originally meant for an adult audience and it certainly shows in this volume. There are a few rude and crude fables and a small selection of humourous fables.

As a farm child, I was always excited when we received a new box of books in the mail from the University of Alberta through their library extension program. I know that I read multiple versions of Aesop, as well as loads of Greek mythology and various fairy tales. So I was familiar with a number of the sayings that we still have today that have their origins in these little stories.

Have you ever spoken of “receiving the lion’s share” of something, i.e. most of it? How about talking of a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Ever thought that someone’s negative assessment of something was just sour grapes? It’s amazing to me how many of our current sayings can be traced back into antiquity.

Although this book was in many ways a walk down memory lane, it also included so many fables that I had never encountered before. I was somewhat disconcerted with how many of them were designed to keep people in their appointed social ranks—telling slaves that getting a new owner didn’t necessarily mean an improvement in life, that freedmen should remember where they came from (somewhat ironic, as Aesop was reputedly a freedman), and that craftspeople should stick to their specialties rather than trying to acquire new skills.

A worthwhile read for those interested in the history of literature.
" said.

"Read this book and remember all the life lessons you learned as a little kid and should remember as an adult:

Hard work pays off (Farmer and his Sons); don’t lie (Boy and the Wolf); there is a time for work and a time for play (Ant and Grasshopper); some people can’t change (Wolf and the Shepherd); ability is not judged by size (Mouse and the Lion); greed is bad (Goose that Laid the Golden Egg); careful the company you keep (Farmer and the Stork); things get less scary with time (Fox and the Lion); it is easier to persuade than to force (Wind and the Sun); simple things are sometimes better (Country Mouse and City Mouse); and slow and steady wins the race (Tortoise and the Hare).
" said.

"I hadn't read this book, but I was amazed at how many of these fables I was familiar with. So many are part of our modern culture, part of our collective consciousness, and they are not specific to any one country or continent. This is truly a World classic. Most of them are easy to understand, some of them are far fetched, and some just don't make any sense. Some animals are used over and over in the stories, like the donkey, the lion, and the hare. It occurred to me after I had finished that I should have assigned a comparative image to each and used it throughout, it might have been more entertaining. For example, I could have chosen one of my least favorite politicians as the donkey and used that image in all the tales. My apologies to donkeys everywhere." said.

" قرأت طبعة مكتبة (مصر) التي ترجمها د. مصطفى السقا وسعيد جودة السحار عن ترجمة (تاونْسِنْد) الإنجليزية. اشتريت الكتاب جديدا من معرض الكتاب بالقاهرة - في عام 2010 - بمئة وستين قرشا بعد الخصم! ووجدت فيه أكثر من ثلاثمائة حكاية كان معظمها فائق الإمتاع والعمق، بلا تكلف. والكتاب مزين برسوم قديمة محببة. الخلاصة أنني سأدعو للقائمين على مكتبة (مصر) حتى تُمحى آخر حكاية من حكايات إيسوب - حكيم اليونان - من ذاكرتي، ولست أظنه ممكنا!أحمد الديبمايو 2010 " said.

" حكايات إيسوب هي المعادل اليوناني لكلية ودمنة.فعلياً قرأتها لعشرات المرات، حيث قمت باختيار هذا الكتاب كمساعدة أخي على القراءة خارج إطار كتب المدرسة بالإضافة إلى مساعدته على استخدام خياله لفهم القصص. لكني هذه المرة قرأت الكتاب لنفسي.يقال أن هذا الكتاب هو مجموعة من الحكايات الشعبية اليونانية والمنسوبة لشخص غير موجود، كما يقال أن إيسوب هو فعلاً من كتب هذه القصص، وبغض النظر عن صحة الروايتين تبقى هذه القصص رمزاً أدبياً لا يستهان به، كما أن تلك القصص لا تزال صالحة للقراءة حتى يومنا هذا. " said.

"3 1/2 - The fables varied in quality, and all pretty much blended together after a while. This one stood out:

Demandes and His Fable
Demades the orator was once speaking in the Assembly at Athens; but the people were very inattentive to what he was saying, so he stopped and said, "Gentlemen, I should like to tell you one of Aesop's fables." This made everyone listen intently. Then Demades began: "Demeter, a Swallow, and an Eel were once traveling together, and came to a river without a bridge: the Swallow flew over it, and the Eel swam across"; and then he stopped. "What happened to Demeter?" cried several people in the audience. "Demeter," he replied, "is very angry with you for listening to fables when you ought to be minding public business."
" said.

"58. Aesop's Fables for Modern Readers, illustrated by Eric Carle
published: 1965 (copyright is 1941, 1955 and 1965)
format: 58 page hardcover by Peter Pauper Press
acquired: from my neighbor in 2006
read: Aug 31 - Sep 5
rating: 2½ stars

The book itself is nice. It feels old, a small thin hardcover with illustrations by Eric Carle, like that shown on the cover. But I'm not sure what to make of the contents. What was it based off? Who translated it, and what did they translate? I only recognized three of the stories, but I hadn't realized any of those were from Aesop.

Looking up Aesop after I finished, I learned that there isn't really a text to translate. Aesop is just a name. Traditionally, he was a slave and story teller who lived from ~620 – 564 BCE. The first recorded collection of stories attributed to him in the 4th bce, which is lost, was simply a collection of folktales and whatnot that had been associated with him. Their true origins were various and unknown.

Still, I like to think the modern reader would have appreciated some kind of note about what went into this book.
" said.

May 2017 New Book:

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