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About the book:
Given in 1938 from the stage of the Comdie Franaise, these five lectures-with characterizing interludes spoken by well-known actors between each one-had the misfortune of being published on the eve of the German invasion of France and subsequently lost. Ever since their reappearance in 1980, they have assumed their rightful rank as the most brilliant (and the most accurate) analysis of the fables, poems, and erotic tales of La Fontaine-the brilliant 17th century French author whose works are universally known and admired in the French-speaking world. The landmark publication of this work in English presents a work that Robert Lowell referred to as the most important work of 20th century literary criticism.