Jean de La Fontaine: Fables choisies

And inspiration behind each fable is truly remarkable as too is the literary artistry with the combination of both giving life to the inner messages and meaning of the story As a child I was read Aesop s fables at bedtime and so fond nostalgic memories and deep rooted emotion have been pulled from me having delved into this delicious delight that re awoke the past The enchanting cover and delicate drawings add that stylish elegant touch to this collection of timeless and eternally cherished tales that will live long in the hearts of many The Cock and the Pearl Scratching for food a cock once founda pearl half buried in the ground He took it to the jeweller down the streetAnd said It s very pretty I can seeBut still some corn that I can eatIs much suitable for me An ignoramus once possessedA manuscript from some beuestHe to it to a bookseller to sellAnd said I now it s written very wellBut money I can spend will beA lot suitable for me I won a hardback copy of Jean De La Fontaine s book Selected Fables on Goodreads through a first read giveaway The Lion and the rat Be ind if possible to one and allwe often need the help of someone smallEmerging from the Earth without much thoughtBetween a Lion s claws a rat was caughtBut showing what a monarch ought to beThe King of Beasts the time let him go freeThus patience will with time at lengthaccomplish than rage and strength My favourite writer of fables La Fontaine turned the work of Aesop Phaedrus Bidpai and other fabulists into sparkling clever poems He also invented some fables of his own In verse form the fable seems delightful than in its prose manifestation This book is a selection of his fables and comprises about one uarter of all the fables La Fontaine publishedLa Fontaine published his fables in six books There is a definite break in style form and theme between the first six books of fables and the second six books The first are familiar to the modern reader being mainly based on Aesop The verses are crisp and pithy and clever The second set of six are different in tone They are digressive and have broader sources of in It has been said of la Fontaine s Fables that they appeal to three ages the child finds joy in the story the student in the art with which it is told and the adult in the reflections on life that it conveys As always both child and a Simple but meaningfu. Ngry in winter and the goddess Juno scolds a peacock who covets a nightingale's song But faith in human nature can also be found in poems such as those in which a wolf is saved from choking by a helpful stork demonstrating an engaging belief in the possibilities of redemptio.

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Wisdom always seems best when packaged in versic fables full of talking animals and steeped in ironies La Fontaine s light verse versions of fables plundered mostly from ancient sources is clever and enjoyable transforming the sometimes bland prose originals into entertaining nuggets for modern readers of all ages He is clearly aiming these updated fables at his French contemporaries with sometimes direct references to nobles and political figures Just as in his source material the lessons often still ring true through the centuries Although I m not overly enad with the fable genre I found these poems to be delightful to read Many will be recognizable to readers including the tortoise and the hare the mountain that gave birth to the mouse the fox and the crow the elephant and the mouse etcOf particular note regarding the Penguin edition is the dreadful introduction by Geoffrey Grigson who writes a rambling repetitive surface level summary of La Fontaine s life and the fables His casual tone jumps around discussions of La Fontaine s life and influences instead of providing readers with a concise methodical introduction of each while his numerous uotations in French without translation defeat the purpose of a text aimed at English readers or students encountering La Fontaine for the first time The lack of any critical notes is an unfortunate oversight Jean de la Fontaine is a must read for anyone interested in folktales and fables throughout historyThe 17th century poet took various tales from Aesop Greek myth and various other sources and set them to verse Here they appear in English translation While the presentation of the stories and their social commentary is witty I didn t find the poetry of the language to be that engaging the rhyme could be distracting and the phrasing was often clunky I don t now if this has to do with the original or the translation I suspect a combination of both For French poems in translation I tend to prefer a side by side presentation even if one understands little of the original language one can read to get an idea of the sound and rhythm of the original However I m sure the originals are available freely online for those motivated to look them up The selected fables presented here apparently the book includes about half of de la Fontaine s fabulist output are prefaced by a very nice academic. Jean de la Fontaine 1621 95 freely plundered the works of Aesop Phaedrus Bidpai and others to transform the world's great fables into charming poems of astonishing originality wit and verve Here he depicts lions frogs donkeys rats insects birds and wily foxes in situations

Essay on the author which really helps place the writing in context There are also liberal endnotes mentioning the source if The Undoing Project known and references found in each fable I might ve preferred if the notes relating to each story were found adjacent to the relevant section but overall this was fineA recommended volumeI received a copy of this title through NetGalley Thanks to NetGalley and Oxford University Press Fables that point out human weakness without ever becoming negative as such the lessons taught are taught with the hope that a weakness perceived can be improved upon with diligence i first came into De La Fontaine s fableswhen i was in p1 or p2 in Lyoncopied a poem on one pagethen drew a nice picture on the page acrossin my notebook with a waterman forids wearing a blouse for ids incase we got ink on usi had a great childhood in Lyon will never forget those days The same thing happened for Jean de la fontaine I studied it in primary school and never really got into it until I had to portray the fox in a play for my class and got caught up by the passionThe next day I remember skipping break to stay in the lobby s school to read fables An exuisitely sophisticated diverse collection of classic fables tailored for a contemporary audience These beautifully sensitive and evocative tales are an impressive anthology of translated works for the modern age La Fontaine matches the original subtlety and inventiveness of each fable whilst injecting a fresh outlook that s respectful to such classic works This selection ranges from 1668 to 1693 and contains a full range of subjects and themes each accompanied by majestic engravings by Gustave Dor that bring the words vividly to life This book contains some of the best loved and greatest French poetic work that derive from the traditional folktales of Aesop and various orental sources It is a conglomeration of English diction transcending boundaries by celebrating and enhancing the power of poetry through wit and satirical clich s and irony Although many children including myself are read traditional taleslike the tortoise and the hare for instance I would state how this contemporary collection is suited to the adult reader who can greatly appreciate the iconic take on contemporary society They say and I believe the world is old it still must be diverted like a child uote The visions. Hat reveal the uirks follies and frailties he observed in humankind Sins of pride greed and vanity come under humorous attack a cunning fox tricks a crow out of his dinner an arrogant hare loses a race to a steady tortoise a merry cicada who sings all summer finds herself hu.

Jean de La Fontaine was the most famous French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th centuryAccording to Flaubert he was the only French poet to understand and master the texture of the French language before Hugo A set of postage stamps celebrating La Fontaine and the Fables was issued by France in 1995 A film of his life was released in France in April 2007 Jean