Posted in book review

Aesop’s Fables

Aesop’s Fables by Aesop

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Last week, I reread Aesop’s Fables as an adult (that is, in terms of the ages on an evolutionary scale) in the 21st century and found them just as attractive as the first time reading it as a child. What a feeling! A freed slave once, Aesop’s natural wit combined with protean imagination made him able to investigate the essence of things, the nature of things, and attribute it to human nature’s characteristics, which ultimately brought him mortal death and immortal life. He was, in a way, a lot like Hephaestus, the god of fire, blacksmith, presider of the arts, and the only legal husband of the goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite who found him unbearably unromantically ugly.

Aesop’s Fables still scintillates in the brilliance of affabulation and humor that nicely relates to Nietzsche’s concept of immanence, the understanding of nature of all things; the Natural Law called conscience the supreme ruler of the universe has inculcated in us. The Fables are full of lessons that are akin to Jesus’s parables employed in his teaching of ethical codes for Christians in daily life. Of course, Aesop was of the Pre-Jesus era. Still, his stories bespeak something of human nature that had already existed, which is ongoing and will continue as long as humanity exists. The cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude, and Christian values of faith, hope, and charity are all embroidered on the elliptical, imaginative, and impressive episodes of and among humans, animals, and even gods in this immemorial anthology of ancient wits. “The North Wind and the Sun” teaches about the force of gentility over the fear of intimidation. “The Woman and Her Hen” resonates with the timeless adage of everything in moderation. “The Milkmaid and her Milk Pail” corroborates the famous proverb that you should keep a bird in your hand than catch two in a bush. Treating others in a way you want in reciprocity illustrates the dinner scenes in “The Fox and the Stork.” And yes, I believe President Ted Roosevelt must have gotten inspiration from “The Astronomer” that you should look at the stars while keeping your foot firmly on the ground. And there are more stories to wow modern readers.

Aesop’s Fables are so practical and amusing that all of them collapse millenniums between his telling and our reading it. Besides, all of them read like Book of Proverbs or Psalms in free verse or prose version, which makes the reader unburdened with textual analysis to decipher meanings intentionally obfuscated by the high intellect the academic writers of the sort. The Fables are comprehensive to all, serving a purpose of providing tenets of reading; to bestow pleasure of the sense and satisfaction of reason in a way you do not consult a help of a dictionary or other lexical or literary reference. Reading the Fables gives a feeling of watching a TV cartoon, say Woody Woodpecker, which tells something about man’s nature wrapped in an animal hide. So do not fear reading Aesop’s Fables now. It is well worth spending your free time discovering the universality of the truth with that “A-Ha!” moment regardless of the subjectivity of time.



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Who am I?

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Dear Readers:

Hi there. Thank you for stopping by my blog. It’s always a pleasure communicating with people through writing, which I believe is the most authentic vehicle of expression of a self. My love of reading and writing inspires me to publish my thinkings in this blog. So Welcome All with my Whole Heart.

My name is Stephanie Joori Suh, living in a suburban New Jersey town in the vicinity of the New York City. I work in the City for livelihood and write at home (or sometimes on the Second Floor in a Dunkin’ Donuts’ shop nearby my workplace) for selfhood. The great psychologist and thinker Viktor E. Frankl, who is also the founder of Logotherapy, has urged us that we strive for realizing our values that are: Creative Value, Experiential Values, and Attitudinal Values in order to arrive at meanings of our lives. How true it is! I believe those who write are united spiritually in fulfilling such noble deeds. We are kindred spirits.

I may not write perfect English prose due to English being my second language. I may not sound ordinary in the sense that my writing speaks with certain streaks of foreignness. Nevertheless, it is my quest for actualizing what I possess inside by means of literary expression. And I have to purge it out, unravel the mystery in me that is dying for the discovery of the truth in me.

Hence this little blog has come into being; it is the birth of my brain child, or rather the manifested ego qua meaningfulness as in terms of Logotherapy. So many thanks again for your readership, which is also meaningful to me.

All the Best,

Stephanie S.