There persists a belief that Aesop was a glib moral writer who told nicely contrived little stories calculated to improve the young. That would puzzle him to no end. He didn’t ever see himself as a children person. His tales were made for adults.
By times crude, bawdy, fickle, lively, inconsistent and ludic, just like life, the tales he contrived were always various, but never simply didactic, or prescriptive.
There may be talking foxes and flying gods but when it came to the human character he tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but. As Aesop has it, most of us are, by inclination, weak, idiotic and delusional, while our masters and mistresses are cruel, venal, self-serving and tyrannical.
We live with arbitrary modern gods, demagogues and tyrants. They run our world. And we are just as stupid, weak and delusional as ever. Gébler has purged these tales of all the moralising clutter and guff, which they were covered over with by Victorian and early twentieth century popularisers. Burnished and incendiary, this collection allows Aesop to sing in his own voice so we can hear the truth again. It has never been more necessary than now.
Carlo Gébler is one of Ireland’s most prolific and respected writers. He lives in Northern Ireland and teaches at Trinity College Dublin. His many novels include, most recently, The Innocent of Falkland Road, inspired by his youth in London, and he is also the author of several novels for children, and works of non-fiction including his biography of Ernest Gébler, The Projectionist.
Gavin Weston was born in Belfast, studied Fine Art at Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design and Goldsmiths’ College, London, and University of Ulster. He has lectured at University of Ulster and Belfast Metropolitan College for many years and was a regular contributor to The Sunday Times from 1994 to 2002. He is a former prize-winner of the Claremorris Open and Iontas, a recipient of The Tyrone Guthrie Award and was nominated for The Becks Futures Award in 2002.
Author & Illustrator
Carlo Gébler and Gavin Weston
C-format Illustrated Hardback