Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Fables from the Mud by Erik Quisling

fablesmudErik Quisling first released handmade copies of his new book, Fables from the Mud, nine months ago. Since then, this little text has gone on to becoming a classic with the likes of Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince and Axel Hacke's and Michael Sowa's The Little King December. The thing is, Quisling's Fables from the Mud can hardly be considered a children's book. It is quite dark at times, and more than a little gory too, and it is told in succinctly few words to express profound ideas.

The first fable of "The Angry Clam", for example, tells the story of a mollusk who struggles with its existence and goes through many trials trying to find meaning in his life, even converting to Islam, and then abandoning it again when it doesn't seem to help. Quisling includes a tragic but completely realistic epilogue of the angry clam's ending days.

The second fable, "Adventures of Glen in My Stone Garden", is a slightly ridiculous but hilarious look at the adventures of a pessimistic ant named Glen. His adventures include a garden barbeque, getting stomped on by a boot, and captaining a pirate crew. What happens to Glen in his adventures gets pretty gory, because he gets swallowed by a dog and even gets his own head severed, but don't worry, everything works out in the end for Glen.

Things don't end as well for the protagonist of the final fable though. "Grant's Tomb" is about a has-been warrior worm whose best days are behind him and find the future to be empty and meaningless. He plots to commit suicide in a spectacular manner as a glorified finale, but needs to evade other dangers that face him on this new quest. Inevitably, he finds meaning with his quest and loses the will for suicide, but unfortunately with this new turn of events, only tragedy can result.

These fables of Quisling's are so funny and popular that Hollywood animation studio Luma Pictures have now optioned the right to create short animated films from Fables from the Mud. They plan to enter the films into film festivals and also the Academy Award Short film competition, and also market them to networks to be converted to animated series. Not too shabby for Quisling's little book about invertebrates.

I enjoyed these little stories very much, although I cringed at some of the gory parts. Fables from the Mud is a realistic parody of life, for us and for the invertebrates, and I'm sure when my brain recovers from the gore, I will find that it was an enlightening read too. I can't wait to see what Luma Pictures does with the fables, and I'm waiting anxiously for Quisling's next book!


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