Edmé Boursault (October 1638 –15 September 1701) was a French dramatist and miscellaneous writer, born at Mussy l'Evéque, now Mussy-sur-Seine (Aube).
On Boursault's first arrival in Paris in 1651 his language was limited to Burgundian, but within a year he had produced his first comedy, Le Mort vivant (Living Death).
This and some other pieces of small merit secured for him distinguished patronage in the society ridiculed by Molière in the Ecole des femmes. Boursault was persuaded that the Lysidas of that play was a caricature of himself, and attacked Molière in Le Portrait du peintre ou la contre-critique de l'Ecole des femmes (1663). Molière retaliated in L'Impromptu de Versailles, and Boileau attacked Boursault in Satires 7 and 9. Boursault replied to Boileau in his Satire des satires (1669), but was afterwards reconciled to him, when Boileau on his side erased his name from his satires.
Boursault obtained a considerable pension as editor of a rhyming gazette, which was, however, suppressed for ridiculing a Capuchin friar, and the editor was only saved from the Bastille by the interposition of Condé. In 1671 he produced a work of edification in Ad usum Delphini: la veritable étude des souverains, which so pleased the court that its author was about to be made assistant tutor to Louis, Grand Dauphin when it was found that he was ignorant of Greek and Latin. The post then went to Pierre Huet, but perhaps in compensation, Boursault was made collector of taxes at Montluçon about 1672, an appointment that he retained until 1688.
|French literary history|
Among his best-known plays are Le Mercure galant, the title of which was changed to La Comédie sans titre ("Play without a title", 1683) when the publisher of a literary review of the same name objected (see "Mercure de France"); La Princesse de Clêves (1676), an unsuccessful play which, when refurbished with fresh names by its author, succeeded as Germanicus; Esope à la ville (1690); and Esope à la cour (1701). His lack of dramatic instinct could hardly be better indicated than by the scheme of his Esope, which allows the fabulist to come on the stage in each scene and recite a fable.
Boursault died in Paris on 15 September 1701. His Œuvres choisies were published in 1811, and a sketch of him can be found in Saint-René Taillandier's Etudes littéraires (1881).
Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière, was a French playwright, actor and poet, widely regarded as one of the greatest writers in the French language and world literature. His extant works include comedies, farces, tragicomedies, comédie-ballets, and more. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed at the Comédie-Française more often than those of any other playwright today. His influence is such that the French language is often referred to as the "language of Molière".
Jean de La Fontaine was a French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century. He is known above all for his Fables, which provided a model for subsequent fabulists across Europe and numerous alternative versions in France, as well as in French regional languages.
Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux, often known simply as Boileau, was a French poet and critic. He did much to reform the prevailing form of French poetry, in the same way that Blaise Pascal did to reform the prose. He was greatly influenced by Horace.
This article contains information about the literary events and publications of 1746.
This article contains information about the literary events and publications of 1666.
Aesop's Fables, or the Aesopica, is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and storyteller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 564 BCE. Of diverse origins, the stories associated with his name have descended to modern times through a number of sources and continue to be reinterpreted in different verbal registers and in popular as well as artistic media.
The Miser is a five-act comedy in prose by the French playwright Molière. It was first performed on September 9, 1668, in the theatre of the Palais-Royal in Paris.
17th-century French literature was written throughout the Grand Siècle of France, spanning the reigns of Henry IV of France, the Regency of Marie de Medici, Louis XIII of France, the Regency of Anne of Austria and the reign of Louis XIV of France. The literature of this period is often equated with the Classicism of Louis XIV's long reign, during which France led Europe in political and cultural development; its authors expounded the classical ideals of order, clarity, proportion and good taste. In reality, 17th-century French literature encompasses far more than just the classicist masterpieces of Jean Racine and Madame de La Fayette.
This article is an overview of the theatre of France.
Le Médecin volant is a French play by Molière, and his first, written in 1645. The date of its actual premiere is unknown, but its Paris premiere took place on 18 April 1659. Parts of the play were later reproduced in L'Amour médecin, and Le Médecin malgré lui. It is composed of 15 scenes and has seven characters largely based on stock commedia dell'arte roles.
Aesop was a Greek fabulist and storyteller credited with a number of fables now collectively known as Aesop's Fables. Although his existence remains unclear and no writings by him survive, numerous tales credited to him were gathered across the centuries and in many languages in a storytelling tradition that continues to this day. Many of the tales are characterized by animals and inanimate objects that speak, solve problems, and generally have human characteristics.
Hôtel de Bourgogne was a theatre, built in 1548 for the first authorized theatre troupe in Paris, the Confrérie de la Passion. It was located on the rue Mauconseil, on a site that had been part of the residence of the Dukes of Burgundy. The most important French theatre until the 1630s, it continued to be used until 1783, after which it was demolished.
The Mountain in Labour is one of Aesop's Fables and appears as number 520 in the Perry Index. The story became proverbial in Classical times and was applied to a variety of situations. It refers to speech acts which promise much but deliver little, especially in literary and political contexts. In more modern times the satirical intention behind the fable was given greater emphasis following Jean de la Fontaine's interpretation of it. Illustrations to the text underlined its ironical application particularly and went on to influence cartoons referring to the fable elsewhere in Europe and America.
Jean-François Boursault called Boursault-Malherbe, was an 18th–19th-century French actor, playwright, theatre director, businessman and revolutionary.
Préville was a French comic actor.
The Fox and the Weasel is a title used to cover a complex of fables in which a number of other animals figure in a story with the same basic situation involving the unfortunate effects of greed. Of Greek origin, it is counted as one of Aesop's Fables and is numbered 24 in the Perry Index.
The Molière authorship question is a controversy started in 1919 when Pierre Louÿs, in two articles entitled "Corneille est-il l'auteur d'Amphitryon ?" et “L'Imposteur de Corneille et le Tartuffe de Molière" , claimed that he had uncovered a literary hoax. According to Louys, Molière should have not written his own plays due to the exceptional proximity with Pierre Corneille 's verses but should have used him as a ghostwriter.
The Frogs and the Sun is one of Aesop's Fables and is numbered 314 in the Perry Index. It has been given political applications since Classical times.
The Heron and the Fish is a situational fable constructed to illustrate the moral that one should not be over-fastidious in making choices since, as the ancient proverb proposes, 'He that will not when he may, when he will he shall have nay'. Of ancient but uncertain origin, it gained popularity after appearing among La Fontaine's Fables.
Sganarelle, or The Imaginary Cuckold is a one-act comedy in verse by Molière. It was first performed on 28 May 1660 at the Théâtre du Petit-Bourbon in Paris to great success. Molière himself played the role of Sganarelle at the premiere and continued to perform it throughout his career. The story deals with the consequences of jealously and hasty assumptions in a farcical series of quarrels and misunderstandings involving Sganarelle, his wife, and the young lovers, Célie and Lélie.