Gargantua and Pantagruel

The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel (French: La vie de Gargantua et de Pantagruel) is a pentalogy of novels written in the 16th century by François Rabelais, which tells of the adventures of two giants, Gargantua (; French: [ɡaʁɡɑ̃tya]) and his son Pantagruel (; French: [pɑ̃taɡʁyɛl]). The text is written in an amusing, extravagant, and satirical vein, and features much crudity, scatological humor, and violence (lists of explicit or vulgar insults fill several chapters). The censors of the Collège de la Sorbonne stigmatized it as obscene, and in a social climate of increasing religious oppression in a lead up to the French Wars of Religion, it was treated with suspicion, and contemporaries avoided mentioning it. According to Rabelais, the philosophy of his giant Pantagruel, "Pantagruelism", is rooted in "a certain gaiety of mind pickled in the scorn of fortuitous things" (French: une certaine gaîté d'esprit confite dans le mépris des choses fortuites). Rabelais had studied Ancient Greek and he applied it in inventing hundreds of new words in the text, some of which became part of the French language. Wordplay and risqué humor abound in his writing.
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original title: La vie très horrifique du grand Gargantua, père de Pantagruel
date of publication: 1534
genre: fantasy novel, satire
characters: Gargantua, Pantagruel

Gargantua

novel by François Rabelais

author: François Rabelais

1534

The Third Book

novel by François Rabelais

author: François Rabelais

1546

The Fourth Book

novel by François Rabelais

author: François Rabelais

1552

Pantagruel

novel by François Rabelais

author: François Rabelais

Abbaye de Thélème

utopie littéraire, décrite par Rabelais

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