The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel (in French, La vie de Gargantua et de Pantagruel) is a connected series of five novels written in the 16th century by François Rabelais. It is the story of two giants, a father (Gargantua) and his son (Pantagruel) and their adventures, written in an amusing, extravagant, satirical vein.
First published in four volumes between 1532 and 1552, Rabelais' comic masterpiece chronicles the adventures of a giant, Gargantua, and his son, Pantagruel. More than four centuries later, the terms "gargantuan" and "Rabelaisian" are synonymous with earthy humor, a surfeit of good food and drink, and pleasures of the flesh. This series of exaggerated fables was condemned upon its initial publication by the censors of the Collège de la Sorbonne. But beneath their bawdy, often scatological wit, the tales bear a deeper significance as the author's defense of daring and groundbreaking ideas. Using his ribald humor, Rabelais addresses timeless issues of education, politics, and philosophy. His parodies of classic authors as well as his own contemporaries offer a hilarious exposé of human folly and an enduring satire of history, literature, religion, and culture. This edition features the classic translation by Sir Thomas Urquhart and Pierre le Motteux.
Gargantúa constituye, junto con Pantagruel una de las cimas de la literatura francesa del siglo XVI y probablemente la más singular y característica suma de la tradición, a la vez que anuncio casi visionario de los nuevos tiempos. Novela de aventuras, filosófica, libro de diversión, está fundado en las virtudes del lenguaje y la risa: nada más sano que liberar al cuerpo y al alma de sus impurezas y terrores riéndose del mal, del dolor y de la necedad.
The dazzling and exuberant moral stories of Rabelais (c. 1471-1553) expose human follies with their mischievous and often obscene humour, while intertwining the realistic with carnivalesque fantasy to make us look afresh at the world. Gargantua depicts a young giant, reduced to laughable insanity by an education at the hands of paternal ignorance, old crones and syphilitic professors, who is rescued and turned into a cultured Christian knight. And in Pantagruel and its three sequels, Rabelais parodied tall tales of chivalry and satirized the law, theology and academia to portray the bookish son of Gargantua who becomes a Renaissance Socrates, divinely guided in his wisdom, and his idiotic, self-loving companion Panurge.
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