παραδειγμάτων δὲ είδη δύο: ὲν μὲν γάρ εστιν παραδείγματος ειδος τὸ λέγειν πράγματα προγενομένα, ὲν δὲ τὸ αυτὸν ποιειν. Τούτου δὲ ὲν μὲν παραβολὴ ὲν δὲ λόγοι, οιον οι Αισώπειοι καὶ Λιβυκοί.
There are two species of example: one species of example is the narration of preceding events, the other inventing them oneself. Of these latter one is comparison, the others fables, like those of Aesop and the Libyan.
I have to stop translating for a moment. I’ve come to Book II of the Rhetoric, Chapter 20, which Aristotle starts by saying, “It remains to speak of the proofs common to all branches of Rhetoric” (p. 273 of the J. H. Freese translation). Aristotle’s second paragraph starts with my epigraph above (which is translated into English by Hugh Lawson-Tancred as that second epigraph).
I stop translating for a moment to note that παραβολὴ, in this context of Aristotle, has been variously translated into English since 1686 as “Similitude,” “illustration,” “the illustrative parallel,” “comparison [parabolē],” and “parable.”
I stop translating to ask some questions:
Why did those listening to Jesus best have to translate his Hebrew word for his own rhetoric as “παραβολὴ”?
Why does Aristotle (in his classic binary mode here) say
(1) that the historical account of King Darius and then King Xerxes conquering Egypt and then Greece is the example of factual narration of preceding events (and Xerxes is the same King slowed by the 300, the same who marries Esther),
but (2) that “παραβολὴ δὲ τὰ Σωκρατικά, οιον ει τις λέγοι” or that the example of inventing events oneself is from the “parable of Socrates, as if from his fables”?
Why does Jesus use the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek parable?
Why does Socrates use the original Greek parable, fables like Aesop’s and the African Libyan’s?
Why does Robert E. Quinn say that Jesus’s (and Martin Luther King Jr’s, and Mahatma Gandhi’s) strategy for change was not “the telling strategy” or “the forcing strategy” or “the ‘win-win’ strategy” but the self “transformation” strategy?
Why does Kenneth L. Pike listen to and only use the other’s language in his monolingual demonstrations? Why does Robert de Beaugrande see Pike’s fieldworking method as getting so much more than either Stephen Krashen’s or Noam Chomsky’s linguistic “theory”? Why have the Bible translators abandoned tagmemics (as the composition studies scholars have)? Why do so many different scholars in so many different academic disciplines hear the useful, transformative, parable of emic and etic?
Why does historian of rhetoric Cheryl Glenn say that Aspasia is more the mother of the Greek parable than Socrates is its father?
Why does rhetorician Wayne Booth say “listening rhetoric” is so much more powerful (parable power) than the many other species of rhetoric?
Why does (feminist, woman) rhetorician Krista Ratcliffe come to Rhetorical Listening, after listening to (the parables of) Pike, and Glenn, and Booth?
Why do parable tellers risk letting the hearers have so much agency? Why do the original authors of parables relinquish their rights?
Is (good) feminism, (good) rhetoric, (good) translation, more than parable? Won't we have to listen to our own stories, and someone else's stories, to know?