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A Brief History of Fables

'A poem should not mean,/ But be,' or so the twentieth century literati would have had us believe. Yet from the earliest of classical narratives to modern-day e-zines, literary works have been turned to political, didactic and symbolic ends. In this groundbreaking work, Lee Rourke traces the long history of a form currently enjoying a resurgence online and in the works of some of the most talented young authors in print. As we begin to emerge from modernism and its aftermath, fables - the briefest of narratives given the most expansive of significations - have gained in popularity. Author and literary critic Rourke here considers the permutations of the form, from Aesop's tortoise and hare, via Plato's socio-political works and the later ribald medieval tales, to Kafka's anthropomorphism and present-day authors including Blake Butler, Joseph Young, Shane Jones and Jonathan Lethem. A Brief History of Fables offers a bold take on the new face of literature.
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About the Author

Lee Rourke is the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel 'The Canal' (winner of The Guardian's 'Not the Booker Prize' 2010) and the short story collection 'Everyday.' His literary criticism has been published in The Guardian, The Independent, TLS, New Statesman and Book forum. He lives in London.

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