Photo Illustration by The Beast rhymes, fables and traditional folk tales all share a kinship drunkenness. I mean, obviously, right? They reduce the complications of life to an appealing, elemental simplicity. They create worlds in which inanimate objects miraculously develop the power of speech. And they all favor sing-song diction and attempts to find rhymes where none by rights should exist. (“Beer before liquor, never been sicker,” etc.). And there’s also the matter of occult transmogrification—one drinks a miracle potion and morphs into . The weak become strong; the unattractive become glamorous. Benjamin Franklin asked in 1722, “What pleasure can the drunkard have in the reflection, that, in his cups, he retain’d only the shape of a man, and acted the part of a beast?” Plenty of pleasure, according to history. But those just the surface connections. Scholars who attention to such things suspect many treasured rhymes and tales, not surprisingly, began steeped in drink, and only later cleaned up and got all snugly with the kids on the divan in the living room. culture developed its own fables, folk stories, and rhyming tales—from Aesop to the Brothers Grimm […]

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