A Fable is a story about supernatural or extraordinary people usually in the form of narration that demonstrates a useful truth. In Fables, animals often speak as humans that are legendary and supernatural tales. A literary genre: a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, legendary creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that are anthropomorphized (given human qualities, such as the ability to speak human language and that illustrates or leads to a particular moral lesson (a “moral”), which may at the end be added explicitly as a pithy maxim.
A person who writes fables is a fabulist.
The most famous fables are those of Aesop. Many of us were read these tales as children and they are still read to children today, in fact the moral’s within the stories are timeless.
Other cultures have there own fables, such as Africa’s oral culture with it’s rich story-telling tradition. India also has a rich tradition of fabulous novels, mostly explainable by the fact that the culture derives traditions and learns qualities from natural elements. In Europe fables has a further long tradition through the Middle Ages, and became part of European high literature. Unfortunately, in modern times while the fable has been trivialized in children’s books, it has also been fully adapted to modern adult literature.
Aesop Hans Christian AndersonGeorge Orwell
My children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue has magic woodland sprites helping their forest friends and they ‘talk’ to each other. The morals are that we need to care for each other and the environment.
Euphemism – definition: the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague word or expression for a more harsh one
We all know several euphemism’s, I am sure. It is why we use them that is interesting. It may be to lessen pain or distress to someone or to hide a fact from a younger person or child. We can openly say these phrases without emotional harm to the person we are saying them to or about. Is this sugar coating reality – yes it is – but they do prevent embarrassing or hurtful situations on both sides of the conversation.
Take the example of two older people discussing a friend who has died. They would not say ‘died’ rather use passed away.
In literature we can find euphemisms, such as :
George Orwell has the “The Squealer”, a character in his “Animal Farm”, using the word readjustment instead of reduction when announcing food rationing to suppress the complaints of other animals about hunger. Reduction means “cutting” food supply while readjustment implies changing the current amount of food.
“For the time being,” he explains, “it had been found necessary to make a readjustment of rations.”
In William Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra”. In Act 2 Scene 2, Agrippa says about Cleopatra:
She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed.
He plowed her, and she cropped.”
The word “plowed” refers to the act of sexual intercourse and the word “cropped” is a euphemism for becoming pregnant.
Here are some euphemism’s but by no means all of them:
Passed away or departed instead of died
Correctional facility instead of jail
Fell off the back of a truck instead of stolen
Ethnic cleansing instead of genocide
Collateral damage instead of accidental deaths
Letting someone go instead of firing someone
Put to sleep instead of euthanize
On the streets instead of homeless
Adult entertainment instead of pornography
Au natural instead of naked
Big-boned or portly instead of heavy or overweight
Use the rest room or powder your nose instead of go to the bathroom
Personify – definition: 1. to represent a thing or idea in the form of a person; 2. to be an embodiment or incarnation of an idea; to typify
There are many people throughout history who have made an impact on the global consciousness. I am sure you can name some more but these were the ones that came to my mind. The common thread is kindness and respect for those around us, whether in our immediate surroundings or further away.
Who did you think of?
Martin Luther King – I have a dream today.
Mahatma Ghandi – Where there is life there is love
John F Kenndey – Let us never negotiate out of fear but let us never fear to negotiate.
Charles Darwin – It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.
Galileo Galilei – Where the senses fail us, reason must step in.
Dalai Lama – My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.
George Orwell – In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
Princess Diana – Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.
Pseudonym – definition: a fictitious name used by a writer to conceal his or her identity : a pen name
What do you think? Is this a good idea or not? My own pen name is actually a combination of my given names so not really a pseudonym in the true sense of the word. Many ‘famous’ authors have used pen names, some to experiment with another genre or to avoid a misconception by their readers. Using initials can ‘hide’ the true gender of a writer – well for a time anyway. But is it really a practice required in this day and age?
Let’s look at Stephen King (yes I know – but he’s my hero!) King used the pen name Richard Bachman for seven short novels in the late 1970’s, early 1980’s. There are two trains of thought about why he did this. 1) He wanted to find out if he could replicate his success to ensure it was not an accident or 2) the publishing standards only allowed a single book per year. As a prolific writer the restriction must have been very frustrating. (If only we could be so lucky)
A pseudonym was also used to hide gender when society dictated a woman’s role, such as Charlotte Bronte, writing under Currer Bell while Emily Bronte used Ellis Bell. Another surprise pen name is George Orwell, whose Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm caused such a sensation in the 1940’s. He was actually named Eric Arthur Blair. More recently Joanne Rowling used J.K. Rowling in an attempt to attract boy readers. It was thought if they perceived the author to be male they would be more likely to read the books about the young wizard.Is this really the case? Do you have a pen name? What were your reasons for using one?