Jean de La Fontaine

(2499 words)
  • Marie-Thérèse Oubrier Austin (Independent Scholar - Europe)

Jean de La Fontaine has been immortalised through his Fables. He is the undisputed master of the genre because he gave this ancient form, considered minor at the time he wrote, a renewed vigour unequalled to this day. Owing to his vivid language and narrative momentum, and also to his allusive references to contemporary issues, La Fontaine’s achievement with his Fables can be said to rank with the comedies of Molière. The scope of their subject matter and their detached moralising stance are reminiscent of Pascal’s aphoristic Pensées, but their true originality and strength reside in the universal appeal of their distinctive poetic style. La Fontaine …

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Oubrier Austin, Marie-Thérèse. "Jean de La Fontaine". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 October 2006
[, accessed 01 July 2015.]