Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0925-4757
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9951
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Taking as its starting point the scholarly discussion about the possible death of the Aesopic fable towards the end of the eighteenth century, this article proposes a broadening of perspective, arguing for a thorough examination of the impact of modernity on some of the basic contexts and conditions of the genre. Four contextual factors are, subsequently, placed under scrutiny: the ethics of virtue, the rhetorical category of , the anthro­po­morphi­zation of animals, and the poetological principle of . All of these factors may be considered as vigorous and interrelated components of premodern culture, and all four of them, moreover, constituted fundamental prerequisites for the conceptualization and functioning of the Aesopic genre. By analysing how the emerging paradigm of modernity diminished the position and importance of these contextual factors, the article seeks to demonstrate the existence of an undeniable dividing line in European fable history somewhere around 1800.


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