Timeless and timely, La Fontaine's Fables still speak to us today.
Pearl Hochstadt's translation has been praised as:
"Witty, modern, and faithful" -Thalia Pandiri, Editor of Metamorphoses, the Journal of the Five College Faculty Seminar on Literary Translation
"A fine, lively text which would give any new reader a sense of what La Fontaine is about" -Professor Richard Howard, Columbia University, poet and translator.
For centuries the Fables of Jean de La Fontaine (1621–1695) have delighted French readers, captivated by their wit and charm. Memorizing the first few fables has been a staple feature of the early education of French schoolchildren. But those who go on to examine the entire oeuvre soon recognize a sophistication that leaves the simple lessons of childhood far behind, offering instead a rueful recognition of the frailties and follies of humankind. Like all proverbial wisdom, his "messages" are full of contradictions. Some advocate prudence; some celebrate boldness. Some praise generosity; others warn against being generous to treacherous types. But what unites all of them is the artfulness of their telling-the poetry. It is this quality that Pearl Hochstadt has aimed to capture in verses that approximate both the rhyme schemes and the often irregular meters of the original text.
Pearl Hochstadt received a bachelor's degree in English from Cornell University and, while still raising her family, a doctorate in English Literature from New York University in 1972. She taught English at Long Island University and other area schools before embarking on this translation after her retirement.