Lessons Learned… or maybe not…
FABLES are “moral” stories intended to “teach a lesson” and most commonly feature animals which are anthropomorphized;i.e.given human qualities, such as speech, to reflect and illuminate the foibles and weaknesses of human behavior through parody or satire and in doing so, driving the point home more effectively.
Most of our best known ANIMAL FABLES are thought to have been written by a man called Aesop, a slave in Ancient Greece around 550BC. These fables belonged to the oral tradition and were not collected for some three centuries after Aesop’s death. They were initially addressed to adults and covered religious, social and political themes. They were also put to use as ethical guides and from the Renaissance onwards were particularly used for the education of children.
FABLES received a major resurgence beginning in the 19th century with the rise of children’s literature by such authors as Lewis Carroll, Rudyard Kipling, Beatrix Potter, Jonathan Swift, Mark Twain, Hans Christian Andersen, Oscar Wilde, J.R.R. Tolkien, James Thurber, among others. A sobering modern use of the Fable is ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell.
The American humorist, David Sedaris, has compiled a bleak collection of ANIMAL FABLES that raise a shiver as he showcases some of modern time’s more interesting human traits. His wickedly funny, delightfully bizarre toxic treatments of mankind’s idiosyncrasies are quite unlike the sanitized fairy tales of pop culture. His complex, controversial topics range from racism to homophobia and are irreverent, poignantly hilarious tales that often take improper, ludicrously nasty twists before enlightening us in the end.
David Sedaris doesn’t necessarily spell out explicit morals to his stories, sometimes they are just downright absurd; Stork moms argue over how to tell their offspring the facts of life. Lab Rats discuss whether all diseases are psychosomatic. A Squirrel and a Chipmunk dysfunctionally date. Toads, Turtles, Ducks attend AA meetings. An Owl climbs into the backsides of Hippos… A bizarre bestiary!
At the Animal Costume Ball –
“A wolf in sheep’s clothing called out for a fox-trot, and, as if a switch had been thrown, the party came to life. Here was the hare in cat’s pajamas dancing with a chameleon, whose costume changed with every turn. The ugly duckling cut in on a swan. A trio of mice lowered their sunglasses, and as they scoured the floor for partners, the parrot turned to the pig and held out her claw. He accepted it awkwardly in his hoof, and so began what the reporter would later refer to as her days of swine and neuroses.”
PERFORMANCE – Monday, July 4 at 20:00 hrs in MERLIN
Presented by NEAT in cooperation with DAZ – Deutsch Amerikanisches Zentrum, Kulturverein Merlin e.V.