Twelve Fables of Aesop

AesopTwelve Fables of Aesop
narrated by Glenway Wescott
illustrated by Antonio Frasconi
1954

This is a gorgeous book with a series of really excellent woodcuts. I got it as a Christmas present and I love it. Gorgeous.

On the other hand, the text is kind of… um… odd? I remember Aesop’s fables in a sort of vague way from when I was much younger. They were short, yeah, but they tended to make sense. There were characters who did things and learned lessons, right? These versions, on the other hand, seem really pretty random. They’re actually oddly post-modern in their randomness.

This makes them hard to review. So in preparation for trying to review the book, I listened to The Dead Author’s Podcast (reviewed earlier by Anna) with guest Aesop.

It’s hard to tell how accurate/historical the podcast really is, but it’s certainly clear that I am not alone in thinking that some of these fables are really incomprehensible. And short.

So I loved this book for the art but I kind of suggest that you check it out for the stories for the bemusement factor as well.  It’s also really short. Twelve stories, none of them longer than two pages.

So to sum up: Beautiful but peculiar.