Fables and Fabulists: Ancient and Modern

Fables and Fabulists: Ancient and Modern

by Thomas Newbigging


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The term 'fable' is used in two senses, with two distinctive meanings.

First, as fabulæ, it is employed to denote the myths or fictions which, by the aid of imagination and superstition, have clouded, or have become blended with, the history of the remote past. Such are the stories related of Scandinavian and Grecian heroes and gods; beings, some of whom doubtless had an actual human existence, and were wise and valiant and powerful, or the reverse, in their day, but around whose names and persons have clustered all the marvellous legends that are to be found in mythological lore. The better name for these is 'romance.'

Secondly, as fabellæ, it is used to signify a special branch of literature, in which the imagination has full play, altogether unassisted by superstition in any shape or form. The fabulist confers the powers or gifts of reason and speech on the humbler subjects over whom he exercises sway, and so has ample scope for his imaginative faculty; but there is no attempt on his part at any serious make-believe in his inventions. On the contrary, there is a tacit understanding between him and his hearers and readers, that what he narrates is only true in the sense of its application to corresponding circumstances in human life and conduct.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783734048654
Publisher: Outlook Verlag
Publication date: 09/24/2018
Pages: 114
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.44(d)

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