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Dictionary Entry Year : 2023

Jean de La Fontaine, The Fables of La Fontaine


When the first Fables choisies, mises en vers par Monsieur de La Fontaine [Selected Fables, set to verse by M. de La Fontaine] were released in 1668, the poet was forty-seven years old. From then on, he would continue to experiment with a poetic form which he turned towards a wider audience. La Fontaine made his fables a humble but crucial vantage point on human nature and the society of his time, in the manner of La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680)’s Maximes and La Bruyère (1645-1696)’s Caractères. He thus expanded the genre’s potential, as his style benefited from his practice of many other literary forms: tale, epic, idyll, novel, and dramatic genres. Indeed, the Fables’ lyrical quality results from their versatility, their allusive yet suggestive manner, their musical and rhythmical inventiveness, and from the discrete yet intimate presence of the fabulist behind the scenes.
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Dates and versions

hal-03973079 , version 1 (03-02-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-03973079 , version 1


Céline Bohnert. Jean de La Fontaine, The Fables of La Fontaine. The Literary Encyclopedia, 2023, ⟨hal-03973079⟩
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