The English Fable: Aesop and Literary Culture, 1651-1740

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Cambridge University Press, 28.3.1996 - 234 sivua
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Between 1651 and 1740 hundreds of fables, fable collections, and biographies of the ancient Greek slave Aesop were published in England. In The English Fable, Jayne Elizabeth Lewis describes the national obsession with Aesop's fables during this period as both a figural response to sociopolitical crises, and an antidote to emerging anxieties about authorship. Lewis traces the role that fable collections, Augustan fable theory, and debates about the figure of Aesop played in the formation of a modern, literate, and self-consciously English culture, and shows how three Augustan writers - John Dryden, Anne Finch, and John Gay - experimented with the seemingly marginal symbolic form of fable to gain access to new centres of English culture. Often interpreted as a discourse of the dispossessed, the fable in fact offered Augustan writers access to a unique form of cultural authority.

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Sisältö

The English fable
1
Aesopian examples the English fable collection and its authors 16511740
14
The first pieces of wit Augustan fable theory and the birth of the book
48
Common and uncommon characters the lives of Aesop
71
Brutal transactions mysterious writ Aesops fables and Drydens later poetry
99
In her transparent Laberynth obstructions of poetic justice in Anne Finchs fables
128
Risking contradiction John Gays Fables and the matter of reading
156
The moral
185
Notes
190
Bibliography
223
Index
230
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