Fable

Fable is a literary genre: a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, legendary creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that are anthropomorphized (given human qualities, such as the ability to speak human language) and that illustrates or leads to a particular moral lesson (a "moral"), which may at the end be added explicitly as a pithy maxim or saying.

A fable differs from a parable in that the latter excludes animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature as actors that assume speech or other powers of humankind.

Usage has not always been so clearly distinguished. In the King James Version of the New Testament, "μῦθος" ("mythos") was rendered by the translators as "fable"[1] in the First Epistle to Timothy, the Second Epistle to Timothy, the Epistle to Titus and the First Epistle of Peter.[2]

A person who writes fables is a fabulist.

Cat guarding geese c1120 BC Egypt
Anthropomorphic cat guarding geese, Egypt, ca. 1120 BCE

History

The fable is one of the most enduring forms of folk literature, spread abroad, modern researchers agree,[3] less by literary anthologies than by oral transmission. Fables can be found in the literature of almost every country.

Aesopic or Aesop's fable

The varying corpus denoted Aesopica or Aesop's Fables includes most of the best-known western fables, which are attributed to the legendary Aesop, supposed to have been a slave in ancient Greece around 550 BCE. When Babrius set down fables from the Aesopica in verse for a Hellenistic Prince "Alexander," he expressly stated at the head of Book II that this type of "myth" that Aesop had introduced to the "sons of the Hellenes" had been an invention of "Syrians" from the time of "Ninos" (personifying Nineveh to Greeks) and Belos ("ruler").[4] Epicharmus of Kos and Phormis are reported as having been among the first to invent comic fables.[5] Many familiar fables of Aesop include "The Crow and the Pitcher", "The Tortoise and the Hare" and "The Lion and the Mouse". In ancient Greek and Roman education, the fable was the first of the progymnasmata—training exercises in prose composition and public speaking—wherein students would be asked to learn fables, expand upon them, invent their own, and finally use them as persuasive examples in longer forensic or deliberative speeches. The need of instructors to teach, and students to learn, a wide range of fables as material for their declamations resulted in their being gathered together in collections, like those of Aesop.

Africa

African oral culture[6] has a rich story-telling tradition. As they have for thousands of years, people of all ages in Africa continue to interact with nature, including plants, animals and earthly structures such as rivers, plains, and mountains. Grandparents enjoy enormous respect in African societies and fill the new role of story-telling during retirement years. Children and, to some extent, adults are mesmerized by good story-tellers when they become animated in their quest to tell a good fable.

Joel Chandler Harris wrote African-American fables in the Southern context of slavery under the name of Uncle Remus. His stories of the animal characters Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Brer Bear are modern examples of African-American story-telling, this though should not transcend critiques and controversies as to whether or not Uncle Remus was a racist or apologist for slavery. The Disney movie Song of the South introduced many of the stories to the public and others not familiar with the role that storytelling played in the life of cultures and groups without training in speaking, reading, writing, or the cultures to which they had been relocated to from world practices of capturing Africans and other indigenous populations to provide slave labor to colonized countries.

India

India has a rich tradition of fabulous novels, mostly explainable by the fact that the culture derives traditions and learns qualities from natural elements. Most of the gods are some form of animals with ideal qualities. Also, hundreds of fables were composed in ancient India during the first millennium BCE, often as stories within frame stories. Indian fables have a mixed cast of humans and animals. The dialogues are often longer than in fables of Aesop and often witty as the animals try to outwit one another by trickery and deceit. In Indian fables, man is not superior to the animals. The tales are often comical. The Indian fable adhered to the universally known traditions of the fable. The best examples of the fable in India are the Panchatantra and the Jataka tales. These included Vishnu Sarma's Panchatantra, the Hitopadesha, Vikram and The Vampire, and Syntipas' Seven Wise Masters, which were collections of fables that were later influential throughout the Old World. Ben E. Perry (compiler of the "Perry Index" of Aesop's fables) has argued controversially that some of the Buddhist Jataka tales and some of the fables in the Panchatantra may have been influenced by similar Greek and Near Eastern ones.[7] Earlier Indian epics such as Vyasa's Mahabharata and Valmiki's Ramayana also contained fables within the main story, often as side stories or back-story. The most famous folk stories from the Near East were the One Thousand and One Nights, also known as the Arabian Nights.

Europe

Fables had a further long tradition through the Middle Ages, and became part of European high literature. During the 17th century, the French fabulist Jean de La Fontaine (1621–1695) saw the soul of the fable in the moral — a rule of behavior. Starting with the Aesopian pattern, La Fontaine set out to satirize the court, the church, the rising bourgeoisie, indeed the entire human scene of his time.[8] La Fontaine's model was subsequently emulated by England's John Gay (1685–1732);[9] Poland's Ignacy Krasicki (1735–1801);[10] Italy's Lorenzo Pignotti (1739–1812)[11] and Giovanni Gherardo de Rossi (1754–1827);[12] Serbia's Dositej Obradović (1739–1811); Spain's Félix María de Samaniego (1745–1801)[13] and Tomás de Iriarte y Oropesa (1750–1791);[14] France's Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian (1755–94);[15] and Russia's Ivan Krylov (1769–1844).[16]

Modern era

In modern times, while the fable has been trivialized in children's books, it has also been fully adapted to modern adult literature. Felix Salten's Bambi (1923) is a Bildungsroman — a story of a protagonist's coming-of-age — cast in the form of a fable. James Thurber used the ancient fable style in his books Fables for Our Time (1940) and Further Fables for Our Time (1956), and in his stories "The Princess and the Tin Box" in The Beast in Me and Other Animals (1948) and "The Last Clock: A Fable for the Time, Such As It Is, of Man" in Lanterns and Lances (1961). Władysław Reymont's The Revolt (1922), a metaphor for the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, described a revolt by animals that take over their farm in order to introduce "equality." George Orwell's Animal Farm (1945) similarly satirized Stalinist Communism in particular, and totalitarianism in general, in the guise of animal fable.

In the 21st century, the Neapolitan writer Sabatino Scia is the author of more than two hundred fables that he describes as “western protest fables.” The characters are not only animals, but also things, beings, and elements from nature. Scia's aim is the same as in the traditional fable, playing the role of revealer of human society. In Latin America, the brothers Juan and Victor Ataucuri Garcia have contributed to the resurgence of the fable. But they do so with a novel idea: use the fable as a means of dissemination of traditional literature of that place. In the book "Fábulas Peruanas" published in 2003, they have collected myths, legends, beliefs of Andean and Amazonian Peru, to write as fables. The result has been an extraordinary work rich in regional nuances. Here we discover the relationship between man and his origin, with nature, with its history, its customs and beliefs then become norms and values.[17]

Fabulists

Classic

Modern

Notable fable collections

See also

Notes

  1. ^ For example, in First Timothy, "neither give heed to fables...", and "refuse profane and old wives' fables..." (1 Tim 1:4 and 4:4, respectively).
  2. ^ Strong's 3454. μύθος muthos moo’-thos; perhaps from the same as 3453 (through the idea of tuition); a tale, i.e. fiction ("myth"):—fable.
    "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty." (2nd Peter 1:16)
  3. ^ Enzyklopädie des Märchens (1977), see "Fabel", "Äsopica" etc.
  4. ^ Burkert 1992:121
  5. ^ P. W. Buckham, p. 245
  6. ^ Atim Oton (October 25, 2011). "Reaching African Children Through Fables and Animation". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  7. ^ Ben E. Perry, "Introduction", p. xix, in Babrius and Phaedrus (1965)
  8. ^ Translations of his 12 books of fables are available online at oaks.nvg.org
  9. ^ His two collections of 1727 and 1738 are available in one volume on Google Books at books.google.co.uk
  10. ^ His Bajki przypowiesci (Fables & Parables, 1779) are available online at ug.edu.pl
  11. ^ His ''Favole e Novelle'' (1785) is available on Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  12. ^ His ''Favole'' (1788) is available on Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  13. ^ 9 books of fables are available online in Spanish at amediavoz.com
  14. ^ His ''Fabulas Literarias'' are available on Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  15. ^ His five books of fables are available online in French at shanaweb.net Archived 2010-06-12 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ 5 books of fables are available online in Russian at friends-partners.org
  17. ^ Juan y Víctor Ataucuri García, "Fábulas Peruanas", Gaviota Azul Editores, Lima, 2003 ISBN 9972-2561-0-3.
  18. ^ Kermode, Mark (30 July 2013). "The Devil's Backbone: The Past Is Never Dead . ." The Criterion Collection. The Criterion Collection. Retrieved 25 June 2016. For those with a weakness for the beautiful monsters of modern cinema, del Toro has earned himself a reputation as the finest living exponent of fabulist film.

References

A Fable

A Fable is a 1954 novel written by the American author William Faulkner. He spent more than a decade and tremendous effort on it, and aspired for it to be "the best work of my life and maybe of my time".

It won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, but critical reviews were mixed and it is considered one of Faulkner's lesser works. Historically, it can be seen as a precursor to Joseph Heller's Catch-22.

Aesop's Fables

Aesop's Fables, or the Aesopica, is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and storyteller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 564 BCE. Of diverse origins, the stories associated with his name have descended to modern times through a number of sources and continue to be reinterpreted in different verbal registers and in popular as well as artistic media.

The fables originally belonged to the oral tradition and were not collected for some three centuries after Aesop's death. By that time a variety of other stories, jokes and proverbs were being ascribed to him, although some of that material was from sources earlier than him or came from beyond the Greek cultural sphere. The process of inclusion has continued until the present, with some of the fables unrecorded before the later Middle Ages and others arriving from outside Europe. The process is continuous and new stories are still being added to the Aesop corpus, even when they are demonstrably more recent work and sometimes from known authors.

Manuscripts in Latin and Greek were important avenues of transmission, although poetical treatments in European vernaculars eventually formed another. On the arrival of printing, collections of Aesop's fables were among the earliest books in a variety of languages. Through the means of later collections, and translations or adaptations of them, Aesop's reputation as a fabulist was transmitted throughout the world.

Initially the fables were addressed to adults and covered religious, social and political themes. They were also put to use as ethical guides and from the Renaissance onwards were particularly used for the education of children. Their ethical dimension was reinforced in the adult world through depiction in sculpture, painting and other illustrative means, as well as adaptation to drama and song. In addition, there have been reinterpretations of the meaning of fables and changes in emphasis over time.

Animal tale

An animal tale or beast fable generally consists of a short story or poem in which animals talk. It is a traditional form of allegorical writing.Important traditions in beast fables are represented by the Panchatantra and Kalila and Dimna (Sanskrit and Arabic originals), Aesop (Greek original), One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights) and separate trickster traditions (West African and Native American). The medieval French cycle of allegories, Roman de Reynart is called a beast-epic, with the recurring figure Reynard the fox.Beast fables are typically transmitted freely between languages, and often assume pedagogic roles: for example, Latin versions of Aesop were standard as elementary textbook material in the European Middle Ages, and the Uncle Remus stories brought trickster tales into English. A more recent example, in English literature, was George Orwell's allegorical novel Animal Farm, in which various political ideologies were personified as animals, such as the Stalinist Napoleon Pig, and the numerous "sheep" that followed his directions without question. In American cinema, there is also the Academy Award winning film, Zootopia, that serves as a fable about prejudice and stereotypes where the funny animal characters experience both social problems with their species serving as an analogy to racial groups.

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, sometimes referred to simply as Brewer's, is a reference work containing definitions and explanations of many famous phrases, allusions, and figures, whether historical or mythical.

The "Revised and Updated Edition" from the 1890s is now in the public domain, and Web-based versions are available online.

The most recent version is the 20th edition, published in November 2018 by Chambers Harrap Publishers.

Chinese folklore

Chinese folklore encompasses the folklore of China, and includes songs, poetry, dances, puppetry, and tales. It often tells stories of human nature, historical or legendary events, love, and the supernatural, or stories explaining natural phenomena and distinctive landmarks. Along with Chinese mythology it forms an important element in Chinese popular religion.

DragonFable

DragonFable is a free-to-play, online, browser-based, single-player, fantasy, role-playing game developed by Artix Entertainment and updated on a weekly basis. Players may access locked game content by upgrading to a premium account for a one-time fee.

Fable (2004 video game)

Fable is an action role-playing video game, the first in the Fable series. It was developed for the Xbox, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS X platforms by Big Blue Box Studios, a satellite developer of Lionhead Studios, and was published by Microsoft Studios. The game shipped for the Xbox in September 2004. An extended version of the game, Fable: The Lost Chapters, was released for the Xbox and Windows in September 2005. A port of the game for Mac OS X, created by Robosoft Technologies and published by Feral Interactive, was released in March 2008 after a delay of more than two years due to licensing issues.

Originally developed under the name Project Ego, Fable's development involved more than 150 people. The game's music was composed by Russell Shaw, with the opening title theme written by Danny Elfman. The game's release was widely anticipated, due in part to Lionhead co-founder Peter Molyneux's enthusiastic hype of the game. The game was originally in development for the Dreamcast, but was moved to the Xbox due to the system's discontinuation.

Fable was well received by critics for the quality of its gameplay and execution, though the failure to include many promised features was noted. Fable was the top-selling game of September 2004 and sold more than two million units by 2007. The game was followed by two sequels, Fable II in 2008 and Fable III in 2010. Fable Anniversary, a high-definition remake of the game that includes The Lost Chapters, was released for the Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows in February 2014.

Fable (video game series)

Fable is a series of action role-playing video games for Xbox, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Xbox 360 and Xbox One platforms. The series was developed by Lionhead Studios until the studio was closed in 2016, and is published by Xbox Game Studios. Flaming Fowl Studios released a Free-to-play card game called Fable Fortune in July 2017.

Fable II

Fable II is an action role-playing open world video game in the Fable game series developed by Lionhead Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360. It is the sequel to Fable and Fable: The Lost Chapters, it was originally announced in 2006 and released in October 2008. A compilation of the game, and its two downloadable content packs, was released on 24 October 2009, titled the "Game of the Year" edition.The game takes place in the fictional land of Albion, five hundred years after Fable's original setting, in a colonial era resembling the time of highwaymen or the Enlightenment. Guns are still primitive, and large castles and cities have developed in the place of towns. Unlike the original, the player may choose to be either male or female.

Fable III

Fable III is an action role-playing open world video game, developed by Lionhead Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios for the Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. The third game in the Fable series, the story focuses on the player character's struggle to overthrow the King of Albion, the player character's brother, by forming alliances and building support for a revolution. After a successful revolt, the player becomes the monarch and is tasked with attempting to defend Albion from a great evil. The game includes voice acting by Ben Kingsley (Sabine), Stephen Fry (Reaver), Simon Pegg (Ben Finn), Naomie Harris (Page), Michael Fassbender (Logan), Zoë Wanamaker (Theresa), Bernard Hill (Sir Walter Beck), Nicholas Hoult (Elliot), John Cleese (Jasper), Johnathan Ross (Barry Hatch), Kellie Bright (Hero of Brightwall female), and Louis Tamone (Hero of Brightwall male).

The game was released on 29 October 2010 for Xbox 360 and on 20 May 2011 for PC via both Games for Windows and Steam. The PC version includes a Hardcore mode and 3D functionality not found in the Xbox 360 version.

Henny Penny

Henny Penny, more commonly known in the United States as Chicken Little and sometimes as Chicken Licken, is a European folk tale with a moral in the form of a cumulative tale about a chicken who believes the world is coming to an end. The phrase "The sky is falling!" featured prominently in the story, and has passed into the English language as a common idiom indicating a hysterical or mistaken belief that disaster is imminent. Versions of the story go back more than 25 centuries; it continues to be referred to in a variety of media.

Lionhead Studios

Lionhead Studios Limited was a British video game developer founded in July 1997 by Peter Molyneux, Mark Webley, Tim Rance, and Steve Jackson. The company is best known for the Black & White and Fable series. Lionhead started as a breakaway from developer Bullfrog Productions, which was also founded by Molyneux. Lionhead's first game was Black & White, a god game with elements of artificial life and strategy games. Black & White was published by Electronic Arts in 2001. Lionhead Studios is named after Webley's hamster, which died not long after the naming of the studio, as a result of which the studio was very briefly renamed to Redeye Studios (it was reverted for various reasons).

Black & White was followed up with the release of an expansion pack named Black & White: Creature Isle. Lionhead released Fable, from satellite developer Big Blue Box. In 2005, Lionhead released The Movies and Black & White 2. Lionhead was acquired by Microsoft Studios in April 2006 due to encountering financial difficulties. Many Lionhead developers left around this time, including co-founder Jackson and several developers who left to found Media Molecule. Molyneux left Lionhead in early 2012 (shortly after the resignation of another group of developers who were dissatisfied with the company) to found 22Cans because he wanted to be more creative. After Molyneux's departure, Microsoft had Lionhead switch to developing games as a service games. As a result, there were many changes within the studio.

In March 2016, Microsoft announced that it had proposed closing Lionhead Studios and that the planned game Fable Legends would be cancelled. On 29 April 2016, Lionhead Studios closed down. A few months after Lionhead's closure, two key people (Webley and Gary Carr, who was Lionhead's creative director), founded Two Point Studios.

Peter Molyneux

Peter Douglas Molyneux (; born 5 May 1959) is an English video game designer and programmer. He created the god games Populous, Dungeon Keeper, and Black & White, as well as Theme Park, the Fable series, Curiosity – What's Inside the Cube?, and Godus. He currently works at 22Cans as the founder.

Recurring Saturday Night Live characters and sketches introduced 1986–1987

The following is a list of recurring Saturday Night Live characters and sketches introduced between October 11, 1986, and May 23, 1987, the twelfth season of SNL.

The Ant and the Grasshopper

The Ant and the Grasshopper, alternatively titled The Grasshopper and the Ant (or Ants), is one of Aesop's Fables, numbered 373 in the Perry Index. The fable describes how a hungry grasshopper begs for food from an ant when winter comes and is refused. The situation sums up moral lessons about the virtues of hard work and planning for the future.Even in Classical times, however, the advice was mistrusted and an alternative story represented the ant's industry as mean and self-serving. Jean de la Fontaine's delicately ironical retelling in French later widened the debate to cover the themes of compassion and charity. Since the 18th century the grasshopper has been seen as the type of the artist and the question of the place of culture in society has also been included. Argument over the fable's ambivalent meaning has generally been conducted through adaptation or reinterpretation of the fable in literature, arts, and music.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

The Boy Who Cried Wolf is one of Aesop's Fables, numbered 210 in the Perry Index. From it is derived the English idiom "to cry wolf", defined as "to give a false alarm" in Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable and glossed by the Oxford English Dictionary as meaning to make false claims, with the result that subsequent true claims are disbelieved.

The Lion and the Mouse

The Lion and the Mouse is one of Aesop's Fables, numbered 150 in the Perry Index. There are also Eastern variants of the story, all of which demonstrate mutual dependence regardless of size or status. In the Renaissance the fable was provided with a sequel condemning social ambition.

The Scorpion and the Frog

The Scorpion and the Frog is an animal fable that seems to have first emerged in 1954. On account of its dark morality, there have been many references to it since then in popular culture, including in films, television shows, and books.

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