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Death of a Genre? The Aesopic Fable in Confrontation with Modernity

Zillén, Erik LU (2015) XXIème Congrès de la Société Internationale Renardienne
Abstract
Scholars of European fable history over and over again have returned to the question of a possible death of the Aesopic genre. Arguments have been brought forward in accordance with mainly two opposing views. On the one hand, it has been claimed that the fable genre towards the end of the eighteenth century reached a stage of crisis and, more or less, perished. On the other hand, it has been asserted that the Aesopic fable has maintained an important role in literary culture after 1800, thus upholding a generic continuity until today. The paper attempts to elucidate the issue, firstly, by a critical discussion of the category of ’death’ as a conceptual tool in genre history, and, secondly, by an inquiry into four contextual factors of... (More)
Scholars of European fable history over and over again have returned to the question of a possible death of the Aesopic genre. Arguments have been brought forward in accordance with mainly two opposing views. On the one hand, it has been claimed that the fable genre towards the end of the eighteenth century reached a stage of crisis and, more or less, perished. On the other hand, it has been asserted that the Aesopic fable has maintained an important role in literary culture after 1800, thus upholding a generic continuity until today. The paper attempts to elucidate the issue, firstly, by a critical discussion of the category of ’death’ as a conceptual tool in genre history, and, secondly, by an inquiry into four contextual factors of significance to the history of the Aesopic genre: the ethics of virtue, the rhetorics of exemplum, the anthropomorphization in natural history, the poetological principle of delectare & prodesse. All of these factors were fundamental prerequisites for the functioning of the fable in premodern culture. Their confrontation with the paradigm of modernity – that is the conclusion of the paper – drastically changed the conditions for the Aesopic genre around the turn of the century 1700/1800. (Less)
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Contribution to conference
publication status
unpublished
subject
keywords
paradigm of modernity, poetological principle of utile dulci, anthropomorphization, rhetoric of exemplum, fable history, genre change, virtue ethics
conference name
XXIème Congrès de la Société Internationale Renardienne
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3c8c5db3-c0d0-4538-97da-ec0143ec92b5 (old id 7584470)
date added to LUP
2015-07-21 13:05:24
date last changed
2016-04-16 09:37:39
@misc{3c8c5db3-c0d0-4538-97da-ec0143ec92b5,
  abstract     = {Scholars of European fable history over and over again have returned to the question of a possible death of the Aesopic genre. Arguments have been brought forward in accordance with mainly two opposing views. On the one hand, it has been claimed that the fable genre towards the end of the eighteenth century reached a stage of crisis and, more or less, perished. On the other hand, it has been asserted that the Aesopic fable has maintained an important role in literary culture after 1800, thus upholding a generic continuity until today. The paper attempts to elucidate the issue, firstly, by a critical discussion of the category of ’death’ as a conceptual tool in genre history, and, secondly, by an inquiry into four contextual factors of significance to the history of the Aesopic genre: the ethics of virtue, the rhetorics of exemplum, the anthropomorphization in natural history, the poetological principle of delectare & prodesse. All of these factors were fundamental prerequisites for the functioning of the fable in premodern culture. Their confrontation with the paradigm of modernity – that is the conclusion of the paper – drastically changed the conditions for the Aesopic genre around the turn of the century 1700/1800.},
  author       = {Zillén, Erik},
  keyword      = {paradigm of modernity,poetological principle of utile dulci,anthropomorphization,rhetoric of exemplum,fable history,genre change,virtue ethics},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Death of a Genre? The Aesopic Fable in Confrontation with Modernity},
  year         = {2015},
}