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Title: Féerie
Original Title: Féerie
Volume and Page: Vol. 6 (1756), p. 464
Author: Louis de Cahusac
Translator: Erin Binkley [Wheaton College MA, binkley_erin@wheatonma.edu]; Allison Cherry [Wheaton College MA]
Original Version (ARTFL): Link
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URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0001.052
Citation (MLA): Cahusac, Louis de. "Féerie." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by Erin Binkley and Allison Cherry. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2008. Web. [fill in today's date in the form 18 Apr. 2009 and remove square brackets]. <http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0001.052>. Trans. of "Féerie," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, vol. 6. Paris, 1756.
Citation (Chicago): Cahusac, Louis de. "Féerie." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by Erin Binkley and Allison Cherry. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2008. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0001.052 (accessed [fill in today's date in the form April 18, 2009 and remove square brackets]). Originally published as "Féerie," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, 6:464 (Paris, 1756).

Fairy tale. The fairy tale was introduced in opera as a new means of producing the marvelous, the true thematic heart of this genre. See Marvelous, Opera.

They used magic from the beginning. See Magic. Quinault traced with a virile and robust brush the grand tableaux of Medea, of Arcabonne, of Armida, etc. The Argines, the Zoradïes, and the Phéano are only imitations of these brilliant originals.

But this great poet only introduced the fairy tale into his operas as a subgenre. Urgande in Amadis, and Logistille in Rolland, are little more than uninteresting characters, such that one barely notices them.

In our time the essence of the fairy tale , of which we have formed a lively, light, and cheerful image, seems to produce a pleasant illusion, and plots that are as interesting as they are marvelous.

This genre had been attempted in the past; but it seemed to have been discredited by the lack of success of Manto la fée and la Reine des Peris . But one modern author, through his ingenious handling of the matter, showed that the failure of those first attempts should have been ascribed neither to the art nor to the genre.

In 1733, M. de Moncrif included a fairy tale prologue in his ballet empire de l’Amour ; in creating Zelindor, king of the Sylphs, he gave us a taste of what could be achieved in this genre.

This work, which was presented at the royal court, was part of the celebrations held after the victory in the battle of Fontenoy. See Celebrations of the Court.

Monsieurs Rebel and Francoeur, who composed the music, infused the songs with pleasing expressions and gave most of their symphonies an enchanting tone, thus creating their illusion: it is music rendered almost throughout like a painting, which is the only sort that demonstrates talent and deserves praise.