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French poet and critic Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux (1636-1711) was by turns venerated (in the eighteenth century) and reviled (in the nineteenth century) as the lawgiver of French classicism. Today critics see his achievement as more varied and complex than the label of classicism allows. This selection of Boileau's poems, translated with spirit and carefully annotated by Burton Raffel, brings the work of Boileau to English-speaking readers for the first time in a generation. Much admired for his wit, Boileau perceived the ...

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