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Ugliness And Value In The Life Of Aesop

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the function of ugliness in evaluations of the fabulist in the Life of Aesop and in an episode from the history of its critical reception in order to gain a clearer sense of what is distinctive about Aesop?s ugliness. For a twenty-first-century reader, Richard Bentley?s sober critical evaluations of the formal features of the text are overshadowed by his more overwrought response to the image of the fabulist presented in the text. His comments on Aesop?s ugliness draw attention to the way in which the Life of Aesop thematizes such responses, virtually encoding its troubled afterlife in its narrative. The bulk of the narrative of the Life of Aesop (Vita G 28?90) is devoted to Aesop?s often contentious conversations with his master, the famous philosopher Xanthus.

Keywords: fabulist; Life of Aesop; Richard Bentley; ugliness; Xanthus



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