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In a culture characterized by lazy cynicism and cool irreverence, the overt moralism of the fable as a genre has fallen out of favour. It’s now been replaced by irony—the rhetorical device de rigueur (which, if rendered as an emoji, would be the one wearing sunglasses). The great irony critic of our time, David Foster Wallace, has famously remarked that any artistic rebel who now eschews this cult of irony would probably be called out for being “backward, quaint, naïve, anachronistic.” Not so with Brittney Groetelaars and her refreshingly new collection of stories and images, “Fables for the Fashionable, supplying us with some much-needed “moral fibre for [our] fast food times of intellectual constipation.”

Unlike traditional fables with chatty foxes and frugal ants, her stories feature animals that refuse to be anthropomorphized. In stories like “The Tapeworm and the Millennial” and “The Cows, the Farmer and the Livestock Pharmaceutical Salesman,” animals figure to reveal just how inhumane, and frankly, un-human, we’ve all become in these techno-obsessed, postmodern times. In so doing, Groetelaars forces the “fashionable” (i.e. all of us) to address the untrendy issue of #morality without the hashtag.

Brittney Groetelaars is a cultural contributor working and living in Vancouver, BC. She received her BFA in Film, Video and Integrated Media at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Working in a wide array of digital media formats focusing in 3D graphics, she explores themes of digital marketing and urban branding. 

Review by Stephanie Bailey
After receiving her MA in English Lit from the University of Victoria, Stephanie Bailey made a sailor hat out of her degree and took to the tumultuous seas of editorial work.