Jules Laforgue

Jules Laforgue

Jules Laforge (1860-1887) was a French poet born in Uruguay. He moved to France in 1866 to attend school. Beginning in 1881, he spent five years as French reader to the empress Augusta of Germany. He retired in 1886, returned to Paris and married, but soon after came down with tuberculosis and passed away in 1887.

Moral Tales

by Jules Laforgue

Translated from the French by William Jay Smith

When Jules Laforgue’s Moralités légendaires was published in 1887 a few months after his death at the age of twenty-seven, it was hailed as a masterpiece. In the words of Remy de Gourmont, it gave “the sensation (specially rare) that we have never read anything like it: the grape with all its velvet hues in the morning light, but with curious reflections and an air as if the seeds within had become frozen by a breath of ironic wind come from some place farther than the pole.…
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