Charles Perrault(redirected from Perrault, Charles)
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Born Jan. 12, 1628, in Paris; died there May 16, 1703. French poet and critic. Member of the Académie Française from 1671.
The son of a bourgeois official, Perrault was a lawyer. His first work was a verse parody, The Walls of Troy, or the Origin of Burlesque (1653). He wrote allegorical narrative poems, odes, and epistles in the style of chivalric court poetry. The initiator of the literary Quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns, he affirmed the superiority of contemporary writers over the ancient ones. Polemicizing with N. Boileau, Perrault rejected classical aesthetics in the narrative poem The Age of Louis the Great (Le Siècle de Louis le Grand, 1687) and the dialogues Parallel Between the Ancients and the Moderns (Parallèle des Anciens et des Modernes, vols. 1-4, 1688-97).
Perrault gained fame with his collection Stories and Fairy Tales of Bygone Days, With Morals: Tales of Mother Goose (Histoires et contes du temps passé, avec des moralités: Contes de ma mère l’oie, 1697). He opposed the classical tradition with such folk fairy tales as Little Red Riding Hood and Hop o’ My Thumb, introducing these works into the system of literary genres. The Tales helped democratize literature and influenced the development of the fairy-tale tradition as seen in the works of the brothers W. Grimm and J. Grimm and of J. Tieck and H. C. Andersen.
The first Russian translation of Perrault’s fairy tales, Tales About Enchantresses, With Morals, dates from 1768. The fairy tale Puss in Boots was translated by V. A. Zhukovskii in 1845. Perrault’s fairy-tale subjects inspired the operas Cinderella by G. Rossini and B. Bartók’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle and the ballets The Sleeping Beauty by P. I. Tchaikovsky and S. S. Prokofiev’s Cinderella.
WORKSContes. [Definitive texts, with introduction by G. Rouger.] Paris . (Contains bibliography.)
In Russian translation:
Skazki. Introductory article by N. P. Andreev. [Moscow-Leningrad] 1936.
REFERENCESIstoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
Soriano, M. Les contes de Perrault… [Paris, 1968.] (Contains bibliography.)
V. S. LOZOVETSKII