Fables Choisies mises en vers par M. de La Fontaine
La Fontaine, Jean de
. Éditions Équinoxe . Barbentane, France ,
Language note: French
PQ1808.A1 2000 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
Language note: French
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I have seldom been charmed as much by a book as I am charmed by this edition. Of course, it was a pleasure to find it together at one of the bouquinistes on the Seine. Most friends have given up on finding a new fable book for or with me. Open this book and you will be charmed immediately by the end papers. Each pair, front and back, includes ninety-six initials used in the eighty-seven fables here. Some are doubles, and not all of the fables' initials are included. I found it a game to match initial with its fable, since each initial includes a fine symbol for the particular fable. Except for one triple, the doubles match each other for their relative placement on the page. The style of illustration is primitive and highly colorful, right from the four scenes of TMCM on the front cover. To my surprise, the edition bothers to include the letter and poem to the Dauphin, the life of Aesop, and the dedicatory poems to Madame de Montespan and the Duke of Bourgogne which open the second and third portions, respectively. The back cover finds the fables of the first portion simpler and more apt for children and those of the later portions more varied, complex, and suitable for adults. Throughout the book, the right-hand pages have no text but an illustration, either partial or full page. The fables, given in an AI at the beginning, appear in their original order and are numbered according to their original books and fable numbers. Many illustrations include several phases from the fable. King Lion's portions are particularly effectively portrayed in I 6 on 35. LM on 45 gives a fine sense of the fable: one panel shows discussion and the other eating. Lesourt Chanton has particular fun with Les Membres et l'Estomac (89). Other fine efforts are FK (93) and The Eagle and the Owl (143).Typically here the characters have human bodies and dress with animal heads. Lesourt Chanton died in 1997, as a short biography at the end points out.