François Rabelais: La Vie inestimable du grand Gargantua, père de Pantagruel

(3495 words)
  • Max Gauna (University of Sheffield)

It is just possible to consider the five books in which François Rabelais chronicles the adventures of the giants Pantagruel and Gargantua as successive instalments of a picaresque novel, but in truth they defy classification; they are sui generis, like nothing else at all. While they have enjoyed both popular and learned acclaim down the centuries, critical interpretations have varied greatly in emphasis, and continue to do so. There is notably a deep divide between those who see the chronicles as the expression of a comic genius concerned purely with entertainment for its own sake, and those who think that they also purvey deeply-felt philosophical and religious messages. Such disagreement is understandable, for there is …

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Gauna, Max. "La Vie inestimable du grand Gargantua, père de Pantagruel". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 September 2003
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Picaresque narrative