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LaFontaine's Fables (Illustrated) by Eric Brochu (LaFontaine's Fables (illustrated by Eric Brochu))

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First book illustrated by Eric Brochu out of a set of many more about Jean de La Fontaine's fables wich was a well known french poet writer who was born the 8th of july 1621 at Château-Thierry and died the 13th of april 1695 in Paris. He was writing stories, plays, fables, poems that will bring you to ponder.


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First book illustrated by Eric Brochu out of a set of many more about Jean de La Fontaine's fables wich was a well known french poet writer who was born the 8th of july 1621 at Château-Thierry and died the 13th of april 1695 in Paris. He was writing stories, plays, fables, poems that will bring you to ponder.

30 review for LaFontaine's Fables (Illustrated) by Eric Brochu (LaFontaine's Fables (illustrated by Eric Brochu))

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    La fontaine fables choisies = The Fables of Jean de La Fontaine, Jean de La Fontaine The Fables of Jean de La Fontaine were issued in several volumes from 1668 to 1694. They are classics of French literature. Divided into 12 books, there are 239 of the Fables, varying in length from a few lines to some hundred, those written later being as a rule longer than the earlier. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هجدهم ماه آگوست سال 1970 میلادی عنوان: قصه های لافونتن شاعر: ژان لافونتن ترجمه منظوم: نیر سعیدی تهران La fontaine fables choisies = The Fables of Jean de La Fontaine, Jean de La Fontaine The Fables of Jean de La Fontaine were issued in several volumes from 1668 to 1694. They are classics of French literature. Divided into 12 books, there are 239 of the Fables, varying in length from a few lines to some hundred, those written later being as a rule longer than the earlier. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هجدهم ماه آگوست سال 1970 میلادی عنوان: قصه های لافونتن؛ شاعر: ژان لافونتن؛ ترجمه منظوم: نیر سعیدی؛ تهران، بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب، 1342، در 158 ص، چاپ چهارم 1359؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، علمی فرهنگی، 1367؛ در 202 ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان فرانسوی - سده 17 م عنوان: قصه های لافونتن؛ شاعر: ژان لافونتن؛ مترجم: احمد نفیسی؛ انتشارات تهران، تهران، 1372؛ در 112 ص؛ شابک: 9645609216؛ چاپ بعدی 1384، چاپ بعدی 1385؛ بالای عنوان: افسانه های کهن برای جوانان؛ این مجموعه شامل 243 حکایت منظوم است. بیشتر این حکایات از زبان حیوانات بیان شده و با نکته‌ ای اخلاقی و پندآموز آغاز یا پایان می‌یابد. داستانهایی همچون: دو کبوتر؛ باز و بلبل؛ عشق شیر؛ مرگ و هیزم شکن؛ زن پرخاشجو؛ غول و رهگذر؛ دختر و شبان؛ دیگ مسین و دیگ گلین؛ زنجره و مور؛ و .....؛ حکایت «روباه و زاغ» در کتاب درسی فارسی به نام سراینده‌ اش «حبیب یغمایی» معرفی شده، اما این شعر برگردان منظوم «حبیب یغمایی» ست، از شعر شاعر فرانسوی سده هفدهم میلادی، یعنی «ژان دو لافونتن»، که البته در کتاب درسی به نام شاعر اصلی آن اشاره‌ ای نشده است. قصه ی «موش شهری و موش روستایی» از افسانه های لافونتن: «موش شهری از پسر عموی خود، که در ده دور دستی به سر میبرد، دعوت کرد تا برای صرف شام، به خانه ی مجلل او در شهر بیاید. دو موش، در محلی با شکوه، به خوردن شام آغاز کردند. روی زمین بهترین فرشها گسترده شده بود، و غذا نیز بسیار عالی، و خوشمزه بود. از آسودگی و غذا هیچ کم نداشتند، اما شام آنها نیمه کاره ماند، زیرا صدایی به گوششان رسید. هردو از فرط وحشت، در سوراخی پنهان شدند. صدا رفته رفته تمام شد، و موش دهاتی تصمیم گرفت، به خانه ی خویش برگردد. اما پیش از ترک آنجا، موش شهری گفت: بهتر است اول شام خود را تمام کنیم. موش دهاتی، در حالیکه کلاه، و دستکشهایش را برمیداشت، گفت: ناراحت نباش، فردا شام را نزد من صرف خواهی کرد. لطفا فکر نکن که من، از شام تو بدم آمده، نه خیلی هم لذیذ بود، ولی در لانه ی دهاتی من، دیگر لازم نیست با شنیدن هر صدایی از جا بپریم. فردا شب، شام را باهم صرف خواهیم کرد، و احتیاجی هم نخواهد بود، که از خطری بترسیم، و دلهره داشته باشیم». ا. شربیانی

  2. 4 out of 5

    Florencia

    This is one of my most precious memories of my childhood. Before going to school, sometimes after, I used to go to a nearby kiosk and buy some chocolates. But these chocolates weren't ordinary ones. They came wrapped with tiny books inside: the fables of Jean de La Fontaine. That is one of my earliest independent, adult-free contacts with literature that I can remember, so I really treasure those fables. I didn't know they were such classics of the 17th century. I found them entertaining so I This is one of my most precious memories of my childhood. Before going to school, sometimes after, I used to go to a nearby kiosk and buy some chocolates. But these chocolates weren't ordinary ones. They came wrapped with tiny books inside: the fables of Jean de La Fontaine. That is one of my earliest independent, adult-free contacts with literature that I can remember, so I really treasure those fables. I didn't know they were such classics of the 17th century. I found them entertaining so I started collecting them (I've never liked chocolate that much, so I used to give it to other kids) and eventually, they led me to Aesop. Thanks to my grandma, actually, my GR back then. Around that time, she started flooding my house with books and was the one who encouraged me to start taking English lessons with her. "The Lion and the Mouse", "The Ant and the Grasshopper", "The Cat and the Mice", "The Mice in Council", "The Fox and the Grapes", "The Fox and the Stork"... all favorites of mine. Damn, now I am truly nostalgic. Well. I hope you enjoy my "it has nothing to do with the book" review. I gave this book 4 stars at first, but now I'm a mixture of books, images and nostalgia so, a 5-star rating it is. Sep 14, 13 * Also on my blog.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    La Fontaine's fables are all in verse and are massively popular in France. They have wonderful little morals. The interesting side-note is that many of these children's fables are hidden criticisms of the court of Louis XIV where La Fontaine was a lackey among the thousands of others at Versailles. That might give you more of a chuckle as you read them knowing that La Fontaine is hiding some very real irony inside of them for his peers.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alain Dib

    Im not really suited to rate the work of Lafontaine so This will be a short review. From all the fables Ive come across those are definitely the best of the lot. Whats remarkable about Lafontaine is this incredible capacity to write fables that are meaningful, fun, easy to read and with important moral values(making stories that involve animals mostly) without dropping in quality. This is really something remarkable. Those fables are a way for the author to express himself at a time where opinion I’m not really suited to “rate” the work of Lafontaine so This will be a short review. From all the fables I’ve come across those are definitely the best of the lot. What’s remarkable about Lafontaine is this incredible capacity to write fables that are meaningful, fun, easy to read and with important moral values(making stories that involve animals mostly) without dropping in quality. This is really something remarkable. Those fables are a way for the author to express himself at a time where opinion wasn’t what it is nowadays so he had to make allusions and create a whole new setting involving animals as they aren’t human and therefore he isn’t really using real names or pointing fingers. As I was flipping through the pages and tripping on every well nuanced word I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of person he was and I was thoroughly convinced that if I had the chance to meet him I am sure that I would have enjoyed his company very much as I’m convinced that he was a warm and very intelligent gentleman. To some extent I really admire his talent and the person he was. Lafontaine’s work is more of a cultural asset but I think that it is important in the educational field especially regarding children for whom you can read appropriate fables of your choice and instruct on the moral lessons which will help them develop a sense of righteousness in a fun and easy way to remember.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy

    There's nothing sweeter than a real friend: Not only is he prompt to lend An angler delicate, he fishes The very deepest of your wishes, And spares your modesty the task His friendly aid to ask. A dream, a shadow, wakes his fear, When pointing at the object dear. “There's nothing sweeter than a real friend: Not only is he prompt to lend— An angler delicate, he fishes The very deepest of your wishes, And spares your modesty the task His friendly aid to ask. A dream, a shadow, wakes his fear, When pointing at the object dear.”

  6. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Title: The Fables of La Fontaine Translated into English Verse by Walter Thornbury and Illustrated by Gustave Doré Author: Jean de la Fontaine Illustrator: Gustave Doré Translator: Walter Thornbury Release Date: October 26, 2015 [EBook #50316] Produced by Madelaine Kilsby, Laura NR and Marc D'Hooghe at http://www.freeliterature.org (Images generously made available by the Hathi Trust and Gallica, Bibliothèque nationale de France, for the illustrations) Free download available at Project Gutenberg. Title: The Fables of La Fontaine Translated into English Verse by Walter Thornbury and Illustrated by Gustave Doré Author: Jean de la Fontaine Illustrator: Gustave Doré Translator: Walter Thornbury Release Date: October 26, 2015 [EBook #50316] Produced by Madelaine Kilsby, Laura NR and Marc D'Hooghe at http://www.freeliterature.org (Images generously made available by the Hathi Trust and Gallica, Bibliothèque nationale de France, for the illustrations) Free download available at Project Gutenberg. Madeleine made the R1 proofreading of this book for Free Literature, and I've made the R2 round. The original file is provided by HathiTrust trough UPenn. The French version (Livre I) can be found at Project Gutenberg. The French version (Livre II) can be found at Project Gutenberg. There are some writers the facts about whom can never be entirely told, because they are inexhaustible, and speaking of whom we do not fear to be blamed for repetition, because, though well known, they furnish topics which never weary. La Fontaine is one of this class. No poet has been praised oftener, or by more able critics, and of no poet has the biography been so frequently written, and with such affectionate minuteness. Nevertheless, it is certain that there will yet arise fresh critics and new biographers, who will be as regardless as ourselves of the fact that the subject has been so frequently enlarged upon. And why, indeed, should we refuse to ourselves, or forbid to others, the pleasure of speaking of an old friend of our childhood, whose memory is always fresh and always dear?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Blandine

    Today I thought outloud about how nice it would be to have a book with all of La Fontaine's fables. As I was in a bookshop to buy a friend's birthday present, I remembered to have a look and found this nice edition at a cheap price (2.80 euros! You can't beat that!) so I decided to buy my own copy. I had to smile when I opened the book and discovered that the first fable was "La Cigale et la Fourmi", which I learnt in primary school when I was seven years old and still remember to the word today, Today I thought outloud about how nice it would be to have a book with all of La Fontaine's fables. As I was in a bookshop to buy a friend's birthday present, I remembered to have a look and found this nice edition at a cheap price (2.80 euros! You can't beat that!) so I decided to buy my own copy. I had to smile when I opened the book and discovered that the first fable was "La Cigale et la Fourmi", which I learnt in primary school when I was seven years old and still remember to the word today, seventeen years later. La Fontaine is one of these authors who have an impact on you, whom you enjoy learning about in school because it is funny and slightly politically uncorrect. Just like Molière, for instance. The fables are about animals, who stand for rich noblemen and members of the aristocracy. La Fontaine denounced their wrongs in a very clever way, so very clever that few of them were aware that they were made fun of. His fables have also become part of the every-day language, which proves just how much he brought to the French literature and language. Who has never said "Rien ne sert de courir, il faut partir à point"? I am sure that I will enjoy sitting with my book now and then to read a few fables again.

  8. 4 out of 5

    عماد العتيلي

    In a nutshell: These fables are immortal. One can't stop enjoying them. Some of them were totally new for me, and most of them were familiar. This was a very enjoyable read. ‏ In a nutshell: These fables are immortal. One can't stop enjoying them. Some of them were totally new for me, and most of them were familiar. This was a very enjoyable read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This is often considered children's literature, so I also categorized it as so, but I believe that was not necessarily La Fontaine's primary audience. If you've never read any of these fables, you should. Many would strike you as familiar from your childhood, yet as an adult you will find ironies and morals in the full texts that will delight you all over again.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Set

    What a pleasure it is to read all these witty and enchanting fables with moral teachings. It is truly a classic and hidden gem in America although the fables are very popular in France.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anamarialodnmavo

    There's nothing sweeter than a real friend: Not only is he prompt to lend An angler delicate, he fishes The very deepest of your wishes, And spares your modesty the task His friendly aid to ask. A dream, a shadow, wakes his fear, When pointing at the object dear. “There's nothing sweeter than a real friend: Not only is he prompt to lend— An angler delicate, he fishes The very deepest of your wishes, And spares your modesty the task His friendly aid to ask. A dream, a shadow, wakes his fear, When pointing at the object dear.”

  12. 5 out of 5

    martin eden

    When you are French, this book is a must-read! Actually all French kids have to learn one fable at least, at school. And it's amazing, every French adults can tell a fable or quote a moral.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ksenija

    I'm sorry, I just really hated the rhyme in it. Maybe it's the translation, but I couldn't read it. Still, I remember it fondly as a great part of my childhood.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    reading as a child and later for literature study

  15. 5 out of 5

    Robert Sheppard

    FOLKTALES AND FABLES IN WORLD LITERATURE--THE PANCHATANTRA, THE INDIAN AESOP, LA FONTAINE'S FABLES, THE PALI JATAKAS, THE BROTHERS GRIMM, CHARLES PERRAULT'S MOTHER GOOSE, THE CHINESE MONKEY KING, JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS' TAR-BABY & THE AMERINDIAN COYOTE AND TRICKSTER TALES ----FROM THE WORLD LITERATURE FORUM RECOMMENDED CLASSICS AND MASTERPIECES SERIES VIA GOODREADS-ROBERT SHEPPARD, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Folk tales, folk song, folk legend and and folk lore have been with us since time immemorial and FOLKTALES AND FABLES IN WORLD LITERATURE--THE PANCHATANTRA, THE INDIAN AESOP, LA FONTAINE'S FABLES, THE PALI JATAKAS, THE BROTHERS GRIMM, CHARLES PERRAULT'S MOTHER GOOSE, THE CHINESE MONKEY KING, JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS' TAR-BABY & THE AMERINDIAN COYOTE AND TRICKSTER TALES ----FROM THE WORLD LITERATURE FORUM RECOMMENDED CLASSICS AND MASTERPIECES SERIES VIA GOODREADS—-ROBERT SHEPPARD, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Folk tales, folk song, folk legend and and folk lore have been with us since time immemorial and incorporate the primal archetypes of the collective unconscious and the folk wisdom of the human race. Very often these were passed down for millennia in oral form around primal campfires or tribal conclaves as "orature" before the invention of writing and the consequent evolution of "literature," later to be recorded or reworked in such immortal collections as "Aesop's Fables" of the 6th Century BC. In the 1700-1800's a new interest in folk tales arose in the wake of the Romantic Movement which idealized the natural wisdom of the common people, inducing the systematic efforts of scholars and writers to collect and preserve this heritage, as exemplified in such works as Sir Walter Scott's "Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border," (1802) Goethe's friend Johann Gottfried Herder's "Folksongs," (1779) and the "German Folktales" (1815) of "The Brothers Grimm"---Jacob and Wilhelm. With the evolution of World Literature in our globalized modern world these enduring folk tales remain a continuing source of wisdom and delight. We encounter them as children in our storybooks and we gain the enhanced perspectives of maturity on them as we introduce them to our own children and grandchildren. Additionally, we have the opportunity to learn of the folk wisdom and genius of other peoples and civilizations which add to our own heritage as the common inheritance of mankind. Thus World Literature Forum is happy to introduce such masterpieces of the genre as the "Panchatantra" of ancient India, similar to the animal fables of our own Western Aesop, the "Pali Jatakas," or fabled-accounts of the incarnations of Buddha on the path of Enlightenment, folk-tales of the Chinese Monkey-King Sun Wu Kong and his Indian prototype Hanuman from the Ramayana, and the Amerincian Coyote and Trickster Tales. Also presented is some of the history and evolution of the classics of our own Western heritage, whose origins may have slipped from memory, such as Charles Perrault's "Mother Goose" tales, La Fontaine's "Fables," and American Southern raconteur Joel Chandler Harris's "Tar Baby," derived from the African tales of the black slaves,and perhaps of earlier Indian origin. AESOP---FATHER OF THE FOLK AND ANIMAL FABLE Aesop's "Fables" (500 BC) were very popular in ancient Athens. Little is known of Aesop himself, though legends have it that he was very ugly and that the citizens of Athens purportedly threw him off a cliff for non-payment of a charity, after which they were punished by a plague. Most Europeans came to know the Fables through a translation into Latin by a Greek slave Phaedrus in Rome, which collected ninety-seven short fables became a children's primer as well as a model text for learning Latin for the next two millennia throughout Europe. An example is: The Fox and the Crow A Fox once saw a crow fly off with a piece of cheese in its beak and settle on a branch of a tree. "That's for me, as I am a Fox," said Master Reynard, and he walked up to the foot of the tree. "Good-day, Mistress Crow," he cried. "How well you are looking today: how glossy your feathers; how bright your eye. I feel sure your voice must surpass that of all other birds, just as your figure does; let me hear but one song from you that I may greet you as the Queen of Birds." The Crow lifted up her head and began to caw her best, but the moment she opened her mouth the piece of cheese fell to the ground, only to be snapped up by Master Fox. "That will do," said he. "That was all I wanted. In exchange for your cheese I'll give you a piece of advice for the future: 'Do not trust flatterers.'" THE PANCHATANTRA---THE INDIAN AESOP Sometime around 600 AD the enlightened King of Persia Nushirvan sent a delegation to India headed by the renown scholar Barzoye to obtain a copy of a book reputed to be replete with political wisdom. Barzoye visited the court of the most powerful king in India and at last obtained copies of not only that book but of many others. Fearful that the Indian king would take back the books, he quickly made copies and translated the works into Persian, or Pahlavi. On returning to the royal court in Persia Barzoya recited the works aloud to the King and court, who were so delighted they became Persian classics. Thus began the travels of the Panchatantra, which would be brought to Paris in the 1600's translated from the Persian into French, and from thence into all the modern European languages. The Panchatantra, or "The Five Principles," is ascribed in India to a legendary figure, Vishnusharma, and is the most celebrated book of social wisdom in South Asian history. It is framed as a series of discourses for the education of royal princes, though like the Fables of the Greek Aesop, it utilizes the odd motif of talking animals--animal fables. Thus the core ethical problems of human existence such as the nature of trust and the limits of risk are entrusted to the wisdom of the beasts. One of the most famous of the Aesopian animal fables of the Panchatantra is that of "The Turtle and the Geese." In the story two geese are close friends with a turtle in a pond named Kambugriva, but the pond is quickly drying up threatening all three with death. The geese resolve to fly away to a large lake and come to say good-bye to Kambugriva. He replies: “Why are you saying good-bye to me? If you love me, you should rescue me from the jaws of death. For you when the lake dries up you will only suffer some loss of food, but for me it means death. What is worse, loss of food or loss of life?” “What you say is true, good friend. We will take you with us: but don’t be stupid enough to say anything on the way.” The geese said. “I won’t” Kambugriva promised. So the geese brought a long stick and said to the turtle: “Now, hold onto the middle of this stick firmly with your teeth. We will then hold the two ends in our beaks and fly you through the air to a large beautiful lake far away.” So the two geese stretched out their wings and flew with the stick in their mouths, the turtle hanging on by his teeth over the hills and forests until they flew over a town just near the lake. Looking up the townspeople saw the two birds flying, carrying the hanging turtle and exclaimed: “What is that pair of birds carrying through the air? It looks ridiculous, like a large cartwheel!” “Who are you laughing at?” shouted the turtle with indignation, but as soon as he had opened his mouth to chastise them he fell from the stick and landed amoungst the townfolk, who proceeded to shell and cut him up for meat in their soup. Moral: “When a man does not heed the words of friends Who only wish him well, He will perish like the foolish turtle Who fell down from the stick.” LA FONTAINE'S FABLES--AN INDIAN TALE TRAVELS ROUND THE WORLD TO EUROPE One way in which folk tales travel about the world is through the process of conscious adoption and adaptation by authors in other nations. La Fontaine (1621-1695) was a literary courtier in the court of Louis XIV of France. The raciness, dangerous ambiguity and rampant wit of some of his tales led sometimes to the disfavour of Louis, but the purity and grace of his style led to his election to the Academie Francaise. His first edition of verse "Fables" was modeled on Aesop, but in later editions he turned to oriental sources, of which a French translation by Pilpay of the Indian "Panchatantra" from the Persian and Arabic was one. Its moral had survival value in the treacherous world of the French court at Versailles, particularly in its invocation to keep one's wits about you in a crowd and learn how to hold one's tongue: The Tortoise and the Two Ducks A light-brain’d tortoise, anciently, Tired of her hole, the world would see. Prone are all such, self-banish’d, to roam — Prone are all cripples to abhor their home. Two ducks, to whom the gossip told The secret of her purpose bold, Profess’d to have the means whereby They could her wishes gratify. ‘Our boundless road,’ said they, ‘behold! It is the open air; And through it we will bear You safe o’er land and ocean. Republics, kingdoms, you will view, And famous cities, old and new; And get of customs, laws, a notion, — Of various wisdom various pieces, As did, indeed, the sage Ulysses.’ The eager tortoise waited not To question what Ulysses got, But closed the bargain on the spot. A nice machine the birds devise To bear their pilgrim through the skies. — Athwart her mouth a stick they throw: ‘Now bite it hard, and don’t let go,’ They say, and seize each duck an end, And, swiftly flying, upward tend. It made the people gape and stare Beyond the expressive power of words, To see a tortoise cut the air, Exactly poised between two birds. ‘A miracle,’ they cried, ‘is seen! There goes the flying tortoise queen!’ ‘The queen!’ (’twas thus the tortoise spoke;) ‘I’m truly that, without a joke.’ Much better had she held her tongue For, opening that whereby she clung, Before the gazing crowd she fell, And dash’d to bits her brittle shell. Imprudence, vanity, and babble, And idle curiosity, An ever-undivided rabble, Have all the same paternity. THE PALI JATAKAS--TALES OF THE PREVIOUS INCARNATIONS OF THE BUDDHA ON THE PATH TO ENLIGHTENMENT The Pali Jatakas are preserved in the "Pali Canon of Buddhist Scripture" which was compiled about the same time as the Christian Bible, in the first centuries AD. Each story purports to tell of a previous life of the Buddha in which he learned some critical lesson or acheived some moral attainment of the "Middle Path" in the course of the vast cycle of transmigration and reincarnation that led to his Buddhahood. The story of "Prince Five Weapons" represents one such prior life of the Buddha. The core of the story is the account of a battle against an adversary upon whose tacky and sticky body all weapons stick, a symbolical case study of a nemesis of the Buddhist virtue of "detachment." In the opening frame tale of "Prince Five Weapons" the Buddha counsels an errant monk: "Are you a backslider?" he questioned. "Yes, Blessed One." confesses the monk, who had given up discipline. Then Buddha tells the story of his past life: A Prince was born to a great king. The Queen, seeking a name for him asked of 800 Brahmins for a name. Then she learned that the King would soon die and the baby Prince would become a great king, conquering with the aid of the Five Weapons. Sent to Afghanistan for martial arts training in the Five Weapons, on his return he encounters a great demon named "Hairy Grip" with an adhesive hide to which all weapons stick fast. the Prince uses his poison arrows, but they only stick to his hairy-sticky hide. He uses his sword, spear, and club but all stick uselessly. Then he uses his two fists, his two feet and finally butts him with his head, all of which stick uselessly to the hide. Finally, hopelessly stuck to the the monster, the demon asks if he is afraid to die. The Prince answers that he has a fifth weapon, that of Knowledge which he bears within him, and that if the monster devours him the monster will be punished in future lives and the Prince himself will attain future glories. The monster is taken aback by the spirit of the Prince and, becoming a convert to Buddhism releases him, after which the Prince fulfills his destiny of becoming a great King, and in a later life, the Buddha. Thereby, the backslider is counseled to persevere and end his backsliding, with the moral: "With no attachment, all things are possible." "THE TAR BABY"---FROM THE AFRICAN SLAVE TALES OF UNCLE REMUS---(BRER FOX AND BRER RABBIT)--BY JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS---A FOLK STORY CIRCUMNAVIGATES THE WORLD Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908) was born in Ante-Bellum Georgia, worked as a reporter and writer and like the Brothers Grimm and Scott collected folk tales by talking with the African slaves working on the Southern plantations, publishing them most famously as the "Uncle Remus" tales of Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit, told by an old and wise slave to the young son of the master of the plantation. Like the Amerindian "Trickster" tales or the cartoon series the "Roadrunner and the Coyote," or "Bugs Bunny" they often focus on how the smart and wily Brer Rabbit outthinks and tricks Brer Fox who constantly seeks to catch and eat him. The most famous of these stories is that of "The Tar Baby" in which Brer Fox covers a life-like manniquin in sticky tar and puts it in Brer Rabbit's path. The rabbit becomes angry that the Tar Baby will not answer his questions and losing his temper strikes him, causing his hand to stick fast. Then in turn he hits, kicks and head butts him until his whole body is stuck fast to the "Tar Baby." The secret of how Brer Rabbit escapes is deferred by the sagacious storyteller Uncle Remus "until the next episode." Scholars, discovering the similarity of the "Tar Baby" story with the Pali Jataka story of "Prince Five Weapons" debated whether the story had travelled across the world and centuries in the most astonishing way or was simply independently invented in two places. These two competing theories, "Monogenesis and Diffusion" vs "Polygenesis" remain competing explanations. Further research documented how the Pali Jataka had, like the "Panchatantra" been translated into Persian, then Arabic, then into African dialects in Muslim-influenced West Africa, where many American slaves hailed from. Polygenesis Theory also gained some competing support from C.G. Jung's theory of "Archetypes" and the "Universal Collective Unconscious" which would provide a psychological force and source for the continuous regeneration of similar stories and dreams throughout the world. The two theories continue to compete and complement each other as explanations of cultural diffusion and similiarity. CHARLES PERRAULT'S "MOTHER GOOSE" TALES--ROYAL COURTS AND THE FOLK Charles Perrault (1628-1703) was a contemporary of La Fontaine at the court of France's Louis XIV, with whom he was elected to the Academie Francaise. He won the King's favor and retired on a generous pension from the finance minister Colbert. He was associated with the argument between two literary factions which became known in England as "The Battle of the Books" after Swift, and which focused on the question of whether the modern writers or the ancients were the greater. Perrault argued in favor of the moderns, but Louis XIV intervened in the proceedings of the Academie and found in favor of the ancients. Perrault persisted,however, in trying to outdo Aesop in his "Mother Goose" collection of folk and children's tales. One of the most famous was that of "Donkey Skin," a kind of variation on the better-known Cinderella theme, in which a Princess, fearful of the attempt of her own father to an incestuous marriage, flees, disguising herself as a crude peasant-girl clothed in a donkey-skin. Arriving at the neighboring kingdom she works as a scullery maid until the Prince observes her in secret dressed in her most beautiful royal gown. Falling in love with her the Prince is unable to establish her true identity but finds a ring from her finger and declares he will marry the girl whose finger fits the ring. As in the case of Cinderella's glass slipper, all the girls of the kingdom attempt but fail to put on the ring, until the very last, Donkey-Skin succeeds. At the marriage it is discovered that she is really a Princess and she is reconciled with her father, who has abandoned his incestuous inclinations. The story is partially a satire on Louis XIV, who himself took as a mistress Louise de la Valliere, a simple girl with a lame foot while surrounded by the most elegant beauties of Paris. THE CHINESE MONKEY KING AND HANUMAN FROM THE INDIAN RAMAYANA Another remarkable instance of the diffusion of a story or character is that of the character of the Monkey King Sun Wu Kong in the immortal Chinese classic "Journey to the West" or "Xi You Ji." In this instance the character of the Monkey King originated in India as the Hanuman of the Ramayana, a half-man, half-monkey with magical superpowers who aids Rama in recovering his wife Sita from the evil sorcerer Ravanna. This tale was embodied in Indian lore which passed into China with the coming of Buddhism and was later incorporated into the classic novel by Wu ChengEn. Other Indian tales travelled through Persia into the Abbasid Caliphate to become part of the "One Thousand and One Nights." THE AMERINDIAN COYOTE AND TRICKSTER TALES The indiginous peoples of the Americas had rich narrative oral traditions ranging from tales of hunting and adventure to the creation myth of the Navajo "Story of the Emergence" and the Mayan "Popul Vuh." These tales circulated around the two continents and were most commonly associated with the "Trickster" tales---a devious, self-seeking, yet powerful and even sacred character, often embodied, like the Aesopian tradition, in animal form. In Southwest North America this often took the form of the Coyote. who constantly seeks to get his way by trickery, amorality and double-dealing, and who sometimes is successful but sometimes brings about his own ruin through his own deceit,insatiable appetites or curiosity. In the lustful tale "The Coyote as Medicine Man" the trickster gets all he desires. The Coyote walking along a lake sees an old man with a penis so long he must coil it around his body many times like a rope. Then he sees a group of naked girls jumping and playing in the water. He asks the old man if he can borrow his penis, which the old man lends him. Then the Coyote sticks the enormous penis onto his own and enters the water, at which the enormous penis slithers like an eel into the vagina of one of the girls, who cut it off with a knife, but with one part remaining inside, making her sick. Later the Coyote transforms himself into a Medicine Man shaman to whom the girls go to cure their sick friend. He uses this opportunity and trickery to sexually fondle all the girls as well as curing the sick one by an additional act of copulation, which fuses the two segments of the severed penis again into one, allowing him to extract the whole from her. World Literature Forum invites you to check out the great Folk Tales and Fables of World Literature, and also the contemporary epic novel Spiritus Mundi, by Robert Sheppard. For a fuller discussion of the concept of World Literature you are invited to look into the extended discussion in the new book Spiritus Mundi, by Robert Sheppard, one of the principal themes of which is the emergence and evolution of World Literature: For Discussions on World Literature and n Literary Criticism in Spiritus Mundi: http://worldliteratureandliterarycrit... Robert Sheppard Editor-in-Chief World Literature Forum Author, Spiritus Mundi Novel Author’s Blog: http://robertalexandersheppard.wordpr... Spiritus Mundi on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17... Spiritus Mundi on Amazon, Book I: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CIGJFGO Spiritus Mundi, Book II: The Romance http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CGM8BZG Copyright Robert Sheppard 2013 All Rights Reserved

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laetitia

    Of course, La Fontaine's fables are a classic for French students (and even worldwide?). I think the stories are a lot of fun and I would recommend them to pretty much everybody no matter how old they'd be! The morals are definitely to remember and it is great to see an author criticise his era and society under its nose.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Macquart

    I've read a few stories every night. It's very comfy. I found that most of these were very deep when you start to apply the logics to real world matters. Sometimes, La Fontaine writes his own conclusions and it's even darker than what I had in mind.

  18. 5 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

    The edition I grew up with, in a Danish translation - my mother tongue.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Oleg Moshneaga

    There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gina Pickering Hutchison

    I'm not sure what I expected, but this wasn't what I anticipated. Boring and tedious, I quit after a few chapter.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Valentine

    Books 1 to 6 read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jimin Lee

    The were pretty interesting to ponder upon. For CLit30B

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    I didnt like this much. It is probably better in its original French, but even then I suspect Id still tire of it. There are some good fables, but quite a few bad ones too. I didn’t like this much. It is probably better in its original French, but even then I suspect I’d still tire of it. There are some good fables, but quite a few bad ones too.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jared

    Curious that human nature is so accurately portrayed in the comings-and-goings of animals... Definitely an interesting read, but make sure to take it in little chunks. I got REALLY bored just plowing through it, and I found myself more annoyed than anything else. I particularly enjoyed the fact that most of these fables offered counter-morals as well - you usually see a fox outsmarting something else, but occasionally the fox is outsmarted himself. I could see this as indicative that a single Curious that human nature is so accurately portrayed in the comings-and-goings of animals... Definitely an interesting read, but make sure to take it in little chunks. I got REALLY bored just plowing through it, and I found myself more annoyed than anything else. I particularly enjoyed the fact that most of these fables offered counter-morals as well - you usually see a fox outsmarting something else, but occasionally the fox is outsmarted himself. I could see this as indicative that a single formula cannot be applied to a given situation in order to determine its outcome. And I find it incredibly interesting that this collection of Fables was written/compiled by La Fontaine for the Dauphin, King Louis XIV's son - consider that Louis XIV was an 'absolutist' ruler, yet these Fables indicate a lack of 'absolute' values in certain situations. Perhaps it was La Fontaine's way of demonstrating (albeit between the lines) that absolutism wasn't completely reliable? So many great Fables found in this collection - I can't even select a favourite! If you've got a favourite Fable, please contact me as I'd love to discuss it to see what you got out of it!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Some insightful stories, my favorites follow: - The miller, his son and the ass (listening to everyone's opinions can lead to folly) - The frogs asking a king (be satisfied with what you have) - The lion beaten by the man (history is at the behest of those that write it) - The lion in love (love can make you blind) - The camel and the floating sticks (things far away do not always bring bad omen) - The ploughman and his sons (hard work brings its rewards) - The stag seeing himself in the water (Too Some insightful stories, my favorites follow: - The miller, his son and the ass (listening to everyone's opinions can lead to folly) - The frogs asking a king (be satisfied with what you have) - The lion beaten by the man (history is at the behest of those that write it) - The lion in love (love can make you blind) - The camel and the floating sticks (things far away do not always bring bad omen) - The ploughman and his sons (hard work brings its rewards) - The stag seeing himself in the water (Too much the beautiful we prize, the useful often we despise - The countryman and the serpent (charity should not be blind) - The heron (don't always seek what is the best) - The pashaw and the merchant (wiser to trust a single powerful king than half a dozen petty princes) - The two dogs and the dead ass (seek satisfaction rather than unbounded will) - The oyster and the litigants (a lawyer only leads to loss for both parties) - The fox, the wolf and the horse (be ware of what is unknown)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Salina King

    Fables is a collection of short stories that allow a reader to have different experiences. Some of these stories will show a reader how confident a character is, how it is better to enjoy the little things and how it is possible to overcome the hard times in life. Considering there are multiple stories in this book there are multiple illustrations, all of which are very well done and use great color. These illustrations give the reader more of an idea of what the characters would look like Fables is a collection of short stories that allow a reader to have different experiences. Some of these stories will show a reader how confident a character is, how it is better to enjoy the little things and how it is possible to overcome the hard times in life. Considering there are multiple stories in this book there are multiple illustrations, all of which are very well done and use great color. These illustrations give the reader more of an idea of what the characters would look like rather than tell a story, which is fine because the authors do a great job of working all the details needed into a short story. Fables is a book that I would have in my classroom regardless of the grade. I believe these stories can be used to connect what we are learning in class with real life, even though the characters are animals, which will help my students get a better understanding.

  27. 5 out of 5

    мєℓ

    THE French classic! The 1st thing you remember learning at school. Even 10, 20, 30 years later, you remember the Fables by heart. My favorites: - The crow and the fox - The grasshopper and the ant - The earthen pot and the iron pot - The Oak and the Reed - The Frog and the Ox - The Tortoise and the Hare - The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse - The Milkmaid and Her Pail - The miller, his son and the donkey

  28. 4 out of 5

    Strangerealms

    The edition that I have is very beautiful. It's hardcover, top quality paper, fully illustrated with Grandville's art. The book has that old book look it's really pretty. On top of that, unlike some version of the fables that are in modern french, this version uses the original old french that the fables were written so it gives even more an old look and feel to the book. Of course the fables in themselves are a joy to read and filled with wisdom.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    These were harder then I thought to read. Proves that kids back in the 1600s had a better education then we do today. This is the type of read I usually don't really read in the summer though. The main reason I picked this up was the wallpaper in my room comes from these fables and I though it might be a quick read. I probably reread these again some other time.

  30. 4 out of 5

    landon

    I haven't read all twelve volumes, but I've studied the first two well. The concision of the fables is deceptive; they are formally varied and innovative, politically philosophically rich, and always slightly mysterious, which will someday bring me back to them.

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