See also: Boileau
BiographyFifteenth of the sixteen children of Gilles Boileau, Clerk of Grand' Room of the Parliament of Paris, it is, as of more the young age, intended for the Droit. His/her brothers are Gilles Boileau and Jacques Boileau.
He did not announce as of his childhood what he was to be one day. The weakness of its constitution, diseases that it essuya contributed only little to delay its studies. He had begun them with the Collège of Harcourt, but it was only with that of Beauvais, where he studies the right, being to its third, that he pointed out himself by his passion for the reading of the large poets of Antiquity.
Right and theologyAdmitted with the bar the September 4th 1656, it is quickly disgusted by it. After having followed some time the bar and to be themselves made receive lawyer, it gave up Cujas and Alciat, with the great scandal of its family and especially of her brother-in-law Dongois, the clerk, who judged since it would be only one stupid all his life. Studies of Théologie undertaken with the Sorbonne are not crowned of more success, while at the same time Boileau saw itself allotting the benefit of the priory of Saint-Benevolent, equipped with 800 books of revenue, than it restored with dead of his father in 1657. This one hardly enables him to live of its revenues and to be devoted to the Littérature. The Scolastique did not have more attractions for this disciple of Horace, and it was delivered consequently entire to the letters.
SatiresIts first satire appeared in a time when, in spite of the masterpieces of Corneille and Molière, Jean Chapelain was still the oracle of the literature. Its first important writings are the Satires (1660 - 1668), inspired by those of Horace and Juvénal, where it attacks those of its contemporaries whom it estimates of bad taste, like Jean Chapelain, author of the Virgin or delivered France , Philippe Quinault or Georges de Scudéry. On the contrary, he admires Molière and, later, the Fountain and Racine. But before Boileau nobody had written in worms, nor developed still so well like him all the resources of the poetic language; the first seven satires which appeared in 1666, obtained an extraordinary success, which still the awkward hatred of the authors increased that the young poet had criticized. He answered them by the 9th satire with his spirit, masterpiece in which he exceeded itself, and where is joined together with the continual elegance of the style a prickly joke and always of good tone. It was less better inspired in the satire against the women, who sins by monotony, and in those of the ambiguity and the man, its two weaker. All its Satires were violently attacked by the abbot Cotin.
EpistlesIt in the maturity of the age that it composed its Épîtres , was appeared of 1669 with 1695, show a style riper and more serene which put it above Horace, at which it is lower for the satires. In parallel, it translates into 1674 the Traité sublime of the Pseudo-Longin and writes the beginning of poetic sound Art and the Lutrin where it refers to Accurse and where, overcoming many difficulties, it rises higher than one was not to await it from such a subject. Nothing equalizes the regularity of the plan and the firm and constant elegance of the style. It defines each kind with precision and purity, and gives the rules of beautiful at the same time as it offers the model of it: the Lectern followed soon poetic Art , and this charming banter, that the author undertook on a challenge of the President de Lamoignon, became another masterpiece which does not have anything comparable in any language, and which answered victoriously those which showed it to miss fruitfulness.
The protection of the kingProtected from Madam de Montespan, it is presented to the King in 1674. Productions of a so high merit, and the purity of its manners, were worth to him the protection of Louis XIV. A pension of 2000 pounds, the privilege for the impression of its works, and the honor to be associated with Racine to write the history of the great reign, were the reward of its work. In 1677, it is named, at the same time as Racine, historiographer of Louis XIV. The two large poets followed some Louis time in his triumphs, but did not leave anything important on the events of which they were pilot. On the strong authorities of this last, it enters to the French Academy in 1684 and to the Academy of the inscriptions and medals in 1685. After the death of Root, Boileau was allocated only seldom to the court, where it always preserved the dignity of its character. Disgusted world, it hardly any more left its retirement of Auteuil, and, received only friends there. Christian philosopher, it courageously supported the infirmities of the age and the deterioration of a health which had always been delicate, and was removed with the letters the May 13rd 1711, following a Hydropisie of chest, at the 75 years age. II left while dying almost all its goods to the poor.
AnalyzesHe is at the 17th century the principal theorist of the traditional esthetic in Littérature, and received the nickname of “legislator of the Parnassus”. He was one of the leaders of the clan of the old in the Querelle of Old and of Modern the, a literary and artistic polemic which agitated the French Academy at the end of the XVIIe century, opposing two antagonistic currents on their cultural designs. Like poet, Boileau deserves forever the recognition of the posterity to have completed to expel the bad taste, and to have fixed in a manner invariant the laws and the resources of the true poetry. Raised at the school of the large poets of the Antiquity, which it always defended against the attacks of ignorance or the injustice, it had especially learned how from it to work slowly, and it was according to them that he had glory to form Racine. Seldom unjust in its satires, kind where it is so easy to be it, its decisions are still admired today for the accuracy, the solidity and the taste which reign there. What characterizes especially this large poet, it is art to preserve at each kind the color which is clean for him, to be true in its tables as in its judgments, to put forward the words by their arrangement, to raise the small details, to increase its subject, to enchase strong and energetic thoughts in worms harmonious and full with things, but always dominated by the reason, which never gives up it in its writings. So many qualities related to if high degree will always ensure him, in spite of the unjust prevention of the philosophers of the 18th century, the first place to the Parnassus French. Kindness, the generosity and the solidity of its character, its rigid and religious probity, its satisfying, its modesty, its impartiality, do not make him less honor. It was really cruel only in worms, as said it Mrs. de Sévigné, and one was surprised softness of his conversation. Its control was so irreproachable, that it always put it at the shelter attacks of the many enemies who its satires could not miss making him. One of the best praises of Boileau is that of Louis Simon Auger, crowned by the Institute in 1805.
- the Satires (1660-1668). Republication: 2002.
- Epistles (1669-1695). Republication: 1937.
- poetic Art (1674)
- Treated sublime (1674) Gallica
- the Lectern (1674-1683)
- Dialog on the heroes of novel (1688)
- critical Reflections on Longin (1694-1710)
- Letters with Charles Perrault (1700)
- Works of Boileau (1740)
- Correspondence with Brossette (1858)
Of the poetic Art (1674)
Before thus to write, learn how to think (Song I)
what one conceives well states clearly,
you Hasten slowly, and without losing courage,
- Twenty times on the trade give your work,
- Ajoutez sometimes, and often erase. (Song I)
- Twenty times on the trade give your work,
stupid always finds more stupid which admires it. (Song I)
It is not snake nor of odious monster,
- Of a delicate brush the pleasant artifice
Be rather mason, if it is your talent. (Song IV)
Of the Satires (1668-1716)
Of the French language odd Hermaphrodite,
- Of which kind to make you, cursed ambiguity? (Satire XII)
- Biography of Boileau, fast presentation of its works followed by some quotations…
- Biographical note of the French Academy
- works on Gallica of BnF.
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