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History, Metaphors, FablesA Hans Blumenberg Reader$
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Hans Blumenberg

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501732829

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501732829.001.0001

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Unknown Aesopica

Unknown Aesopica

From Newly Found Fables (1985)

(p.566) 25 Unknown Aesopica
History, Metaphors, Fables

Hans Blumenberg

Cornell University Press

This chapter reviews the production of fables in Hans Blumenberg's “Unknown Aesopica: From Newly Found Fables” (1985). Aesop was — if he ever really existed — a slave. Based on his origin, he is referred to as a Phrygian, in some sources as Lydian, in better ones as Thracian. By betraying the secret of Aesop, Socrates subtly implied how the fable — which he was the first to put into verse while in prison awaiting his death — arrived at the inexhaustibility of its wisdoms: the forefather of all philosophy was also that of all fables. Thus, the disconcerting problem that Aesop placed himself on rare occasions in his stories (which were therefore suspected to be apocryphal) is finally solved. The new findings, three of which are presented here, prove that intermediate forms between animal fable and anecdote belong to the original stock: Aesop with his talking animals.

Keywords:   fables, Hans Blumenberg, Aesop, Socrates, philosophy, animal fable, anecdote, talking animals

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