“Fables of Marie de France”, 500 years before La Fontaine – Liberation

“Fables of Marie de France”, 500 years before La Fontaine – Liberation


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Every week “Liberation” presents an overview of news about children’s books. Today, a collection of fables that rehabilitates the pioneer of the genre in France, forgotten for more than eight hundred years.

The book begins with a quote of dizzying lucidity: “Marie has a name and I’m from France. A clerk or two may sign my work with their name…” Who remembers Marie de France today? Who, except experts, knows that she was the first French fable writer, in 1180, half a millennium before a certain Jean de la Fontaine, whose existence no brat in this country knows? However, she was the first to take on Aesop-inspired fables in French rather than Latin. We know very little about her, except that she enjoyed a certain fame during her lifetime, before she sank into oblivion, as she predicted in the epilogue of her fables, which are from the above two sentences. Twenty-four of these texts have now been published and illustrated by Editions Talents Hauts, which has been working for eighteen years to make women authors and heroines visible.

“Her work was made invisible by literary history, by the entire institution that preserves the values ​​of literature, as well as the work of many other women. It’s been forgotten and mistreated when it’s really worth republishing.” boasts Laurence Faron, director of the Talents Hauts edition, proud that he can “to show that a woman in the twelfth century wrote so well things generally attributed to a man”. There is no question here of minimizing the work of Jean de la Fontaine, even less

#Fables #Marie #France #years #Fontaine #Liberation

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