Utorak, 25 Maj 2021 10:41

Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais Istaknut

Gargantua by Gustave Doré Gargantua by Gustave Doré

The French humanist, narrator, physician, and monk François Rabelais wrote five comic novels Gargantua and Pantagruel from 1532, when he was about 37, until the end of his life. The first book, Pantagruel, was published in 1532, and the second, Gargantua, in 1534. The third book was published in 1545, the fourth in 1552, and the last, after Rabelais' death, in 1564. 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.

The source for the novel Gargantua and Pantagruel was a popular tale about the giant Gargantua and an anonymous book, The Great Chronicles of the Great and Enormous Giant Gargantua. The name Pantagruel is synonymous with an evil spirit that has power over water in medieval mysteries, legends, and farces.

The novel Gargantua and Pantagruel is long and long-winded, and taking on aspects of fantasy, social commentary, travel literature, parody, allegory, adventure story, narratives of battles and chivalry, songs, bawdy jokes, poetry, tall tales, wordplay, and most other types of vernacular writing of its author's day. It is a comic and satirical story about the adventures of two giants, father and son, Gargantua and Pantagruel, and various companions who make fun of the vices and foolishness of the people and institutions of Rabelais' time. The main points of the novel are sayings, verses, the Bible, parodies, and different political events. Also, Rabelais gives an insight into the smallest details of Gargantua and Pantagruel's life such as his origins, birth, childhood, life in Paris, and liberation of their homeland.

Although François Rabelais wrote the novel Gargantua and Pantagruel over 20 years and with many interruptions, he never deviated from his original idea - moving down, into the depths of the earth and the human body. This movement captures all images and metaphors, and the descent into the temple of the Divine Bottle represents a summary of the entire theme of the novel.

Even today, the terms Rabelaisian and gargantuan are often spontaneously linked with an overabundance of food and drink, rude jokes, and earthly pleasures. But the boisterous humor and satire have a deeper meaning. Rabelais' humanistic ideas and realistic and satirical images of the world and society of that time are hidden under a fantastic and humorous spirit. Rabelais advised readers to "crush the bone and stumble at the core," to find in his novel "another sweetness and a more hidden doctrine, which will reveal to you the sublime mysteries and fears of the mysteries, both as to our faith and as to ours, the political situation, and our economic life". Between the lines, François Rabelais was defending daring and ground-breaking new ideas. He creates his humanistic vision of a man in the novel Gargantua and Pantagruel by opposing everything he noticed in his environment, the concrete reality of his epoch. According to him, human nature is fundamentally marked by a curiosity about the world and man's place within it. And it is only by man giving free rein to that curiosity that he will truly develop all aspects of his being.

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