Le Petit Perret des Fables d'après Jean de la Fontaine: Les Fables Geometriques
La Fontaine, Jean de
This is exactly the kind of weird book I was looking for on a rainy day with the bouquinistes in Paris. I am still not sure what we have here. I think it is a book made from or parallel to a TV series. There is an ad for a coming video cassette at the back of the book. I presume that the series, managed by Pierre Perret, presented various stories, and these would have been The Petite Perret of this or that or the other thing. Here is their encounter with La Fontaine's fables. Immediately after the preface we meet, on a two-page spread, a set of geometric figures. These are presumably the sorts of characters Perret uses for his presentations. First, then, we meet L'Orchestre Fou, a musical crowd of geometric shapes introduced in rhyming verse. Are Perret's texts done in a kind of argot? At any rate we soon meet his first poetry, a recasting of La Fontaine's text along with a clever presentation of the fable by figures made out of geometric shapes. The crow in FC, for example, is a black box with two circular eyes (10). When he perches on a shelf and holds a circle-shaped slice, it is very easy to see the crow with a piece of cheese in his mouth. The moral of this fable is that, thanks to La Fontaine, very few opera singers today sing with their mouths full! Next come tips on how to make the figures and a lexique. So it goes through ten fables, whose La Fontaine texts are at the back. Sometimes there are also recipes connected with particular fables. The milkmaid in MM becomes a black child with short braids riding a tricycle with a colorful pitcher balanced on her head (22-23). This fable, with its geometric representations of eggs, checks, hens, a rooster, a pig, cows, and a tricycle may be the wildest visually. Also very clever are the skiing figures of tortoise and hare (30-31). The two ducks in TT become in shape fighter planes based on an aircraft carrier (64-65), and the tortoise grabs onto the landing-gear. The back cover aptly says that Fantôme marries humor and the computer. This is wonderful stuff!
Fantome: Editions Jean-Claude Lattès