Rabelais - Franois Rabelais (1494-1553): Letter from...

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François Rabelais (1494-1553): Letter from Gargantua to his son Pantagruel So famous is the wildly obscene humor of Gargantua and Pantagruel that its author's name has given rise to an adjective--"Rabelaisian"--to describe just such humor. Rabelais was a monk and a physician, but in his writings he celebrated his real loves: scholarship and drinking, with the latter often serving as a symbol of the former. As a beneficiary of the age of the printing press, he was intoxicated by the sudden availability of all manner of books. As much as any of the Renaissance Humanists, it is Rabelais who articulates their view that a new age has dawned. If his portrait of the Middle Ages as a time of ignorance and superstition is grossly exaggerated (and it is), it nevertheless helps to convey the excitement of the Humanists during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. This passage, a letter from father to son advising him on his education, is written in the elaborate, balanced style of formal prose in the period, quite unlike the tumbling, bawdy narrative that surrounds it. Read aloud, with appropriate pauses at the punctuation marks, it conveys a grand rhythmic majesty. Of what invention of the Renaissance does Gargantua
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Rabelais - Franois Rabelais (1494-1553): Letter from...

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