Antoine Furetière

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Furetière, Antoine


Born Dec. 28, 1620, in Paris; died there May 14, 1688. French writer. Member of the Académie Française (1662). A lawyer by education.

In 1653, Furetière published his burlesque narrative poem The Voyage of Mercury, in which he boldly and accurately satirized the shortcomings of society and, in particular, the defects of the aristocracy. His collection Assorted Poems (1655) contains poems that resemble moralizing satires. The Bourgeois Romance (1666; Russian translation under the title Petit Bourgeois Romance, 1962) played an important role in the development of the realistic novel of everyday life in the 17th century. A polemic against preciosity occupies a special place in The Bourgeois Romance, as does a critique of the extreme aspects of burlesque literature. Furetière affirmed his democratic “third estate” views in Fables, Moral and New (published 1671).

Furetière compiled the Universal Dictionary Containing All French Words (published 1690), which constitutes a broad reflection of the French vocabulary of the 17th century. Permission to publish the dictionary, granted to Furetière in 1684, angered some of his fellow members of the Académie Française, who were preparing a similar work, and Furetière was expelled from the academy in 1685.


Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946. Pages 399–404.
Reynier, G. “Le Roman bourgeois.” In his book Le Roman réaliste. Paris, 1914.
Adam, A. Histoire de la littérature française au 17 siècle, vols. 2–4. Paris, 1962.