|The Video Game Was Rubbish Too, I Hear
||[Jun. 5th, 2014|09:46 am]
(Me talking to wife about some of the things I've read lately.)
So I've finished Joan of Arc, and then went on to my e-reader to finish off Grimm's Fairy Tales. After that I started on Aesop's Fables, the particular edition of which is started off by an interesting preface, including a fascinating history of the genre, its transmission and pedigree.
At the very beginning though is a brief description of the distinction between the Tale, the Parable and the Fable. It also puts forth the superiority of Fables over the other two forms, which I found very strange. Upon rereading the paragraph, I suppose it can be interpreted to mean merely a superiority in conveying a moral lesson simply by being more direct and unmistakable than either the Tale or the Parable, but even here the superiority is highly suspect and certainly debatable.
For the very directness is a flaw, and the unmistakability often mistaken. In many I can guess the lesson before the story is ended, which makes reading them rather tedious; in others, the opposite is true. I guess one lesson, and then it actually teaches something else entirely, which of course means that the story rather failed in its purpose.
Now this is all well and good for children to whom all these lessons are new and commendable to learn; but perhaps I lose something as an adult, laden as I am with the subtleties of experience and the belligerence of higher formal education. The positive way of saying it is that Fables teach common sense. The negative way of saying it is that all this moralizing just comes off as platitudes.
I observed to Allie that, much like the Greek Sophists were paid handsomely for their sophistry, perhaps the Greek fabulists were also paid well for their platitudes.
In which case, would that be justly called platitution?
I slept on the couch that night.