The Complete Fables of Jean de la Fontaine

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Northwestern University Press, 1988 - Fables, English - 713 pages
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"The English-speaking reader will typically find selections of translated fables by La Fontaine (1621-1695), and a large number of those stray rather far from the original in an effort to retain the poetic flavor of the genre. Other translations, treating the fables as reading matter for followers of Winnie the Pooh, do not retain the subtle overtones and wit intended, in fact, for educated adults. This translation remains extraordinarily faithful to the original not only in metrical patterns and rhyme schemes but also in tone: wit and le mot juste are skillfully and wonderfully combined. This is no small achievement, and we can now enjoy the grace, wit, and versatility of an author whose literary qualities were, until now, evident only in the original."-- Danielle Mihram, New York University Library.

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The complete fables of Jean de la Fontaine

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The English-speaking reader will typically find selections of translated fables by La Fontaine (1621-1695), and a large number of those stray rather far from the original in an effort to retain the ... Read full review

Contents

To Milord the Dauphin
3
The Cicada and the Ant
5
The Frog Who Would Be as Big as an Ox
7
Copyright

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About the author (1988)

Although he had a degree to practice law, La Fontaine does not seem to have done so but, rather, spent his life in Paris dependent on aristocratic patrons. His principal contribution to literature was his 12 books of Fables, to which he devoted 30 years of his life. They were published from 1668 to 1694 and are universally appreciated in France by children and adults alike. In drawing on a tradition of the fable going back to Aesop, La Fontaine created a portrait of human life and French society through the representations of animals. His work is marked by great insight into human moral character, while it preaches the value of the middle road.

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