Publication Date



fables, global literature, medieval fable literature


As much as recent scholarship has tried to develop a new approach toward world or global literature, the essential problem continues that in those efforts simply writers and poets from the various countries and continents are placed side by side without any consideration of inter- and transdisciplinarity, if not shared meaning and critical exchange. Drawing from the tradition of medieval fable literature, however, we face a truly productive approach in recognizing what global literature could really entail since the various writers across the continents addressed, broadly speaking, the same issues and fundamentally agreed on the critical values in all of human life. Studying fables within the framework of world literature opens intriguing perspectives because differences in the use of language, the cultural framework, the religious background, and the literary sources employed by the various writers basically fall away. This allows us to recognize a universal discourse on the essential concerns in all of human life, whether we look at Persian, French, German, or Spanish fables. Vices and virtues have been with people throughout time across the world, so it is little wonder that fable authors can be identified as some of the most important contributors to global literature.