Ethical critics think it is literature's job to teach moral lessons and, in consequence, they reductively transform every text into an apologue
, a moral fable, or a Sunday School lesson.
Commenting on thematic parallels in several Albertian apologues, Rinaldi argues (less convincingly) that the lion is a figura Christi and the fox a figura diaboli.
In Alberti's Apologue 96, for example, Rinaldi finds an echo of Tertullian, De spectaculis.
L'exemplum est proche parent des fables et des apologues
, mais avec cette difference qu'il semble credible, tandis que dans fables et apologues
le recit est trop evidemment incroyable et que c'est son artifice meme qui nous invite a y chercher une verite cachee: ainsi, dans la fable, la convention d'animalite avertir le lecteur que si l'histoire parait absurde, sa morale du moins est valide.
and fictions were a popular form to which writers had recourse, and, in consequence of the great general political turmoil, minds, pushed toward the hope of social reforms, let themselves be swept along on the wave of aspirations by the same uncertainty which the future holds in these times.
That battle must be conducted in ways entirely different from the encounters invited by satires and apologues.
Even more obviously they did not work either as apologues, teachers of coherent thought, or as satires, attackers on sins or follies in the world.
13 The only work I've met that deals adequately with the unique critical challenges presented by apologues that are called novels is David Richter's brilliant Fable's End: Completeness and Closure in Rhetorical Fiction.
Cowell, "On Certain Mediaeval Apologues
," Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 1 (1860): 10-17.
In a celebrated passage, Cristoforo Landino compared Leon Battista Alberti (1404-74) to a chameleon for his adaptable versatility; and Alberti himself employed animal symbolism in his Apologues
and Dinner Pieces, even refashioning his identity by adding the name Leo ("lion") to his Christian name Battista.
but the body of apologues
traditionally attributed to this near mythic figure on the basis of his renown as a storyteller.