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Aesop's Fables (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – June 15, 2008
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UNEDITED UK REVIEW: "'Laura Gibbs has recently brought out a splendid translation with a very helpful introduction of the bulk of the fables in the Oxford World's Classics.'"--Gabriel Josipovici, TLS
About the Author
Laura Gibbs completed her M.Phil. in European Literature at St Antony's College, Oxford and her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley. She has also studied and taught at the Centre for the Study of Anthropology and the Ancient World at the University of Siena in Italy. She is currently employed as a specialist in academic computing at the University of Oklahoma where she is developing Latin and Greek teaching tools for use on the Internet.
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First, the introduction by Gibbs provides a helpful understanding of the Aesopic tradition that goes back as far as Hesiod and extends through the 17th century. While there may have been an actual slave named Aesop who lived on Samos, Gibbs makes it clear that "Aesop's fables" are a genre and not the work of a singular author. The introduction also serves to explain how the fables were constructed and how one should approach each fable's interpretation and moral.
Second, Gibbs gives the reader a very good, accessible translation of each of the 600 fables, aetiologies, paradoxes, insults, and jokes included in this edition. One of the reasons I chose this edition was its comprehensiveness.
Third, Gibbs provides helpful contextual notes after many of the fables. These notes help the reader understand the terms, situations, or names used in the fables as well as highlight the authors who used particular fables in their works.
Fourth, there were two issues I had with this edition that led to my 4-star rating. The first issue is noticeable editing errors (e.g. fable 86). The second issue is that Gibbs orders the fables by content (or theme), but then she fails to provide an index of these themes either in the Table of Contents or in the general index in the back of the book. What good is ordering by content (or theme) but not providing an index of those themes for the reader?
Top international reviews
The product description should have mentioned year of printing.
The Library of Greek Mythology (Oxford World's Classics)
"Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." Escape newspeak as long as you can - do not buy this edition.