Jean de La Fontaine, The Fables of La Fontaine

Céline Bohnert (Université de Reims)
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When the first

Fables choisies, mises en vers par Monsieur de La Fontaine

[

SelectedFables, 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…

2392 words

Citation: Bohnert, Céline. "The Fables of La Fontaine". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 February 2023 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=39762, accessed 23 June 2024.]

39762 The Fables of La Fontaine 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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