Man and the Wooden Idol book cover

Man and the Wooden Idol

In "Man and the Wooden Idol," Jean de La Fontaine delves into an anthropological tale of religious and spiritual discovery. The book takes readers on an expedition, following a man who stumbles upon an ancient tribe that worships a wooden idol. As he embeds himself with the tribe, he faces conflicts, acceptance, rejection, and revelation, while seeking a deeper understanding of the tribe's faith and rituals. This book is a study of faith, cultural diversity, tolerance, and human nature.

Genre: Fable

A certain Pagan had a god of wood-- Deaf was the idol, yet had ears enough; The Pagan promised to himself much good. It cost as much as three men; for his fears Induced repeated vows and offerings; Fat oxen crowned with garlands and such things. Never an idol--think of that-- Boasted of victims half as fat. Yet all this worship brought no grace, Treasure or legacy, or luck at play; What's more, if any single storm came near the place, This man was sure to have to pay; Yet all the time the god dined well. Now, was this fair? At last, impatient at the costly care, He takes a crowbar, and the Idol smashes (Crashes). Forth comes a stream of gold. "I feasted you with offerings manifold, And you were never worth an obolus to me; Now leave," he said, "my hospitality, Seek out another altar. I hold thee One of those gross and stupid creatures With wicked and untoward natures Whose gratitude can never grow; But after many a heavy blow, The more I gave the less I got; I own It's very well I changed my tone."
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Jean de La Fontaine

Jean de La Fontaine was a renowned French fabulist and one of the most famous poets during the French classical period. He was born on July 8, 1621, and died on April 13, 1695. Known for his literary style, he is best known for his "Fables", which are considered classics of French literature. His works were marked by his sophisticated style and moral substance, and his fables provided a scathing critique of French society during his time. more…

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