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LAISSES FARE

June 22, 1986

Robert Koehler's review of the puppet production of "Aucassin and Nicolette" ("The World of 'Aucassin and Nicolette,' " June 11) incorrectly calls this French song-fable a chanson de geste. The correct term should be chantefable.

The chansons de geste were Carolingian epic poems, of which the best known is the "Song of Roland." They were written entirely in assonanced verse laisses.

"Aucassin and Nicolette" is a later literary work, a 13th-Century romance and the only known chantefable, that is, a narrative genre composed of assonanced verse laisses.

The chansons de geste are French national epics. The changefable , a minor genre, is a tale of love and adventure.

LEON SCHWARTZ

professor of French

Cal State L.A.

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