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RPI Lex Deux Pigeons

1903?  Complete set of ten numbered photographic postcards presenting "Les Deux Pigeons."  RPI.  $120 from Bertrand Cocq, Callone Ricouart, France, Sept., '18.

Many levels of interpretation are at play in the presentation of this fable.  La Fontaine writes this story about two male doves, one of whom has wanderlust and, against the urgings of his dear friend, goes off to experience the world so that, as he sees it, he can return and relate to his dear friend his adventures abroad.  The trip turns out to be uncomfortable and dangerous, and the traveler returns wounded.  The two are happy to be reunited.  La Fontaine himself reflects then, at the age of 68, wondering whether he will ever experience the flames of passion that he did earlier.  His last line is "Have I passed the time for loving?"  That is, he himself, seems to see a deeply romantic and even erotic theme in the story.  Interpreters of La Fontaine have been quick, in my experience, to portray the story as about two lovers.  Here we are presented with a male friend who needs to travel, to the pain of his stay-at-home female friend.  (Is the male traveler being portrayed here actually by a female?)  The set of ten cards tracks the interaction with sensitivity.  Notice the eighth card, where the solitary friend waits and hopes for the return of her dear friend.  The cards were all posted to the same party during January and February, 1904.  All but two are signed by Charles Durandeau. The cursive writing of La Fontaine's phrases on each card is curious.