The passé simple ( past historic) is a narrative tense and is mainly found in literature.
Its equivalent in spoken French is the passé composé...
Hope this helps!
I noticed it was used extensively by Macron when he addressed the nation this week. Also used in the official french church version of the Lord's prayer, the creed etc.
Past Heads of state and the like will use the passé simple for effect but it sounds very pompous and will not be used otherwise.
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