Day 145: Modern Wisdom

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May 24, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

Fiction, to me at least, is so much more than fabrication.  The best stories make at least a little sense, and deliver at least a little wisdom that you can take with you after you turn the page.  Sometimes the lessons are subtle, lurking in the subtext of a plot about bigfoot’s lonesome travels or the enslavement of humanity at the hands of aliens; other times, the moral of the story is abundantly clear in the actions and consequences befalling the heroes or villains.  Either way, there’s a lot to be said for good stories as good lessons.  Kids, especially, learn important lessons from tortoises and hares.  The morals of today’s stories are poignant, elegant, memorable and hilarious.

Moderately Important Fables is a refreshed take on the classic fable form.  With stories like “The Penguin Who Was Kind of a Prick”, and “The Dust Mite Who Regretted Getting a Tattoo”, author Ryan Shattuck is bringing meaningful morals to an age that might not pay attention to jays and peacocks.

Ryan Shattuck — an author you’ve never heard of but who probably exists — spent 57 years visiting every corner of the globe, collecting some of the most important fables in human history. He then organized these stories into a book called Moderately Important Fables, so that future generations might finally learn of the most life-changing fables ever recorded.

Hemingway seems to approve, and he’s a guy I’ve come to trust when it comes to literature.  If you’re in the mood for a modern take on mice and lions, frogs and oxen, dogs, cats, wolves and sheep, I hope you’ll help Shattuck in bringing important lessons to life anew by backing Moderately Important Fables before June 4.


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