"Med Flid opdigtet"? Om bruken av fabler i Avis for Børn (Kbh. 1779‒1782)

Harald Bache-Wiig


This essay is an investigation into the use of the fable genre in a Danish children’s magazine, Avis for Børn (Journal for the children), published in Copenhagen 1779‒1782 by the philanthropist and editor Emanuel Balling. The main purpose is to indicate that the classical, Aesopian genre to some extent was transformed and adapted to fit into the didactic and religious purpose dominating this journal. Some examples from the old lore are given to substantiate the assumption that the attitude of the fable mainly was a very pragmatic one, without the moral and religious orientation typical of the stories presented in Avis for Børn. In nature, Avis for Børn would admire the reign of a benevolent God, while in ancient fable nature is a place reigned by brutes and by arbitrary bestiality. Nevertheless, the journal chose to make some meaningful, yet strained use of the genre, without twisting the genre into pastoral sentimentality, a tendency that during the 19th century in children’s literature became predominant.

Keywords: Fable, adaption, enlightenment, journals for children, philantrophy, moral education, pragmatic didacticism, benevolent nature


Fable; adaption; enlightenment; journals for children; philantrophy; moral education; pragmatic didacticism; benevolent nature

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14811/clr.v34i1.21


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Barnboken – Journal of Children's Literature Research eISSN 2000-4389
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