Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Le Corbeau et le Renard


The poet Jean de al Fontaine spent 26 years writing his version of fables, numbering 243 in total. This statue in Square du Ranelagh shows him regardant a ses pieds le corbeau et le renard, one of his revered fables.

La Fontaine also had contemporaries who wrote fables, but what distinguishes him is that he wrote his in verse. Thanks to him, the fable became a poetic genre, with rhyme and rhythm, even if La Fontaine's fables retain some of the freedom of prose in their use of metrics. The lines of varying lengths create a rhythm that has less of a monotonous chanting quality and more of the irregularities of natural speech.

Square du Ranelagh
16ième arr.

17 comments:

Shell Sherree said...

What a beautiful statue, and I love the framing with those trees. Beautifully done, Genie!

Luz said...

Es monumental! me encanta esta captura y conocer la historia de este gran poeta.

hollyb said...

Cool statue - I remember when we found it. And fun to know the story behind it, as we have read Le corbeau et le renard in French class.

Rob-bear said...

The complexity of the statue is quite fascinating. Not just one piece, but several, interestingly arranged.

Perhaps a testament to the complex simplicity of the fables.

Virginia said...

I knew what renard meant but corbeau was a new one for me! Miss you.
V

Starman said...

I'm not familiar with M. la Fontaine.

Loree said...

Interesting info. I always thought that that particular fable was Aesop's.

Alexa said...

Brilliant of the sculptor to include the fox and crow in his tribute! And I've learned so much from you today, Genie. At the risk of turning this discussion from sagacious to shallow, I'd just like to say that if you put a pair of tight jeans on him, de la Fontaine looks a lot like Robert Plant circa 1970.

Paris Paul said...

How cute is this! I love the way the fox statue is 'out of' the statue. Thanks for showing me this, Genie, I didn't know about it!

Ninny said...

I like how the statue was shot in winter with the dead leaves strewn about the base and the trees scratching at the gray sky. Had this been shot in any other season, it wouldn't have been as powerful. Well done, Genie!

L'Aussie said...

Lovely photo. I love the way in Paris you come across these monuments everywhere and it is so interesting to know the story behind them, as you have shown us with this one O Jean De al Fontaine.

Nice to see a fellow francophile. Would you like to pay a visit to my French blog?

My French Blog

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Shell -- Merci! This was taken in December and although the photo looks almost b/w it was just a very gray day.

Luz -- Gracias!

Holly -- I enjoyed the tale of the grasshopper and the ant which I found in a French book of mine.

Bear -- The statue was only recently built (1983, which is recent in historical standards). The original was taken down during WW2. I think that this "new" monument has taken on the appearance of one quite old.

Virginia -- A new word for the day! Miss you too and ready to fly all night to get home (eventually)!

Starman -- Then I feel honored to have brought a new fact to the world traveler that you are!

Loree -- He took many old stories (fables) and wrote French prose. Many of them had not been visited in centuries.

Alexa -- Well, I always say we should liven up the conversation and you are just the one to do it! All portraits of M. Fontaine show him with the flowing hair!

Paul -- Wow! That I could show the master of "Where is it Wednesday" a monument he has not seen..... amazing!

Liz -- Thank you for your comments. I felt the same way, although I have not seen it in a "green" season. The surrounding park is quite lovely but this monument was striking.

L'Aussie -- Yes, I love that too, and in my town, I think that I could drive around and take photographs of all the monuments in our area in less than two days!

Randy said...

Wow that is amazing. I love the bird and dog.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Randy -- Well, you are close... It is a fox but maybe it would resemble a Santa Fe pup! Merci!

Bibi said...

Oh, I love this and have NOT seen it! I had to memorize Le Corbeau et Le Renard in French class....

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Bibi -- As I am discovering, M. La Fontaine's prose must have been in many French study books!

Greyscale Territory said...

A very beautiful, appealing statue! Somehow this scene reminds me of St Francis' wonderful connection with animals!