de La Fontaine, Jean
Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) is the most widely read and the best loved of French classical writers. In France every school child studies his fables and leams some of them by heart. La Fontaine is a conscientious artist who also wrote longer poems and Contes et nouvelles en vers, and it is a mistake to think of him as writing primarily for children. Even in the fables, the apparently facile charm is a result of astonishing technical effect that allows us to apprehend the animal characters as innocent woodland denizens, seventeenth-century courtiers, or universal types as true today as when they were conceived three hundred years ago.
- "Jean de La Fontaine." Representative French Poetry. Ed. Victor E. Graham. 2nd edn. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1965. 20-28.