Theatre & Literature

Published on February 7th, 2021 | by Isabelle Karamooz, Founder of FQM

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La Fontaine’s “The Loves of Psyche and Cupid” for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a day of love and romance. For the romantic at heart, it is a day to celebrate the special circumstances that Cupid’s arrow had to penetrate through to bring love. For the many book lovers, it is a day to pick up a classical book, “The Loves of Psych and Cupid” written by Jean de la Fontaine which is considered to be a work of a long romance and an elegant prose.

La Fontaine’s work was finished and published in 1669. Currently, there are several copies of various editions of that book that are available to you via bookstores and online stores. Unfortunately, so far it has not been possible to track down a copy of the very first 1669 edition of this important work. However, if you really want to own a very old edition such as the 1791 edition, it will cost you over 3,000 US dollars.

Photo Credit: gallica.bnf.fr

Jean de la Fontaine was a famous French poet who was born in 1621 and died in Paris in 1695. He was a man of letters and literature. He wrote many poems and his best known work is the Fables which is considered as one of the masterpieces of French literature.

Jean de la Fontaine. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

In his book, “The Loves of Psyche and Cupid,” you will experience drama, suspense and heartbreak and romance during Valentine’s Day. It has the capacity to revive romantic lives once opened and enjoyed. The frame narrative places the story in the garden of Versailles. The story itself begins with four friends, which in many ways recalls La Fontaine’s own literary circle. The friends set out to visit the garden of Versailles, and its lavish surroundings are the setting where one of the friends tells the story of Cupid and Psyche to the others.

But what is the origin of the myth of Cupid and Psyche?

The myth of Cupid and Psyche is one of the great love stories of the ancient world and it even has a happy ending. It’s a myth that involved many of the ancient gods and goddesses of ancient Greece. Eros (Cupid) was the son of Aphrodite (Venus) and Psyche was a beautiful mortal girl of whom Aphrodite was both envious and jealous. Psyche in Greek is the definition of the human soul and depicts the human spirit.

According to the earliest version of the tale, in the poetry of the Archaic period, Eros was represented as a handsome immortal who was irresistible to both man and gods. But later, he was portrayed as a mischievous child. Today, it is this chubby lovable child that has persisted over time and has become our ubiquitous Valentine’s Day mascot.

Header Photo Credit: mediterranees.net


About the Author

is originally from Versailles, France. She always wanted to see the world, which she did starting at 17 when she had the fortunate opportunity to study abroad in Rhonda, Spain. She traveled the world from Hong Kong to Taiwan, from Ireland to Austria, to Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Monaco, and discovered the entire countries of Italy and Morocco. She really feels like a citizen of the world. She finally settled several years in Los Angeles where she worked at the French Consulate of Los Angeles. Passionate about the Arts and History, she earned a Bachelor's degree in History from the University of California Berkeley and studied for a Master program in education at the University of Southern California, then she went on to teach French to aspiring UNLV and CSN students in Nevada. She is the founder and Editor in chief of French Quarter Magazine, in which she writes, interviews people in a wide range of circumstances, pitches story ideas to writers and journalists, takes photos, and is currently writing her first translated work, which spans the life of Coco Chanel and is filled with adventure, intrigue, history and love.



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