Bekker, Elisabeth Wolff; Agatha Deken
Fabelen, uitgegeven door E. Bekker Wed. A. Wolff en A. Deken. Den Haag, Isaac van Cleef, 1784.
€ 130,80 (€ 120,00 ex. btw)
Betje (Elisabeth ) Wolff (1738-1804) and Aagje (Agatha) Deken (1741-1804) met each other in 1776. When Betje’ s husband died in 1777 they decided to move in together. This was the start of a fruitful partnership. They wrote many novels, poetry and idealistic manifests. In ‘Fabelen’ Wolff and Deken re-used old fables and transformed them into beautiful new stories (12 stories after La Fontaine). The foreword contains a disclaimer in which Wolff and Deken explain that these fables are not their own work, but rather re-interpretations of the fables, of which they have kept the overall moral but altered the story surrounding it to their own liking. In total, this book contains 40 fables, each accompanied by an emblem-like engraving that provides an excellent addition to the text. The original author of each fable is also credited at the end.
Fables are a well-known and widespread phenomenon and this literary genre can be found all over the world. Usually, the main characteristic of fables is that these stories humanise animals, plants or objects. Especially when humans appear alongside animals in the story, animals with human characteristics add an odd and often moralistic undertone to the narrative. This two-fold means that fables are often stories in which impossibilities happen but which are still relevant to the everyday life of humans. Namely, within the fable narrative there is often an equivocal reality: on the one hand, straightforward, regular things happen whilst on the other hand there is almost an extra dimension, with small deviations from reality. It is this combination which makes it possible for the readers to relate the story to their own lives. L0863