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Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532)

by François Rabelais

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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5,010482,145 (3.74)191
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.… (more)
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» See also 191 mentions

English (38)  Dutch (4)  Catalan (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  French (1)  All languages (46)
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Have an antique copy, Bibliophilist Society copy, approximately 1937 based on previous owner’s note
  JimandMary69 | Aug 29, 2023 |
I think anyone who loved Tristram Shandy will at least like this book, which comes from a similar place of joy and chaos and learned ... well, *stuff.*

If you *hate* books like Tristram Shandy, well, you probably won't like this. And I probably won't like you. :^) Oh well.

The translation and notes by the improbably-named Screech are very, very good. Top class. ( )
  tungsten_peerts | May 10, 2023 |
Possibly the jolliest books ever written. ( )
  schumacherrr | Feb 21, 2022 |
Tough one to review it doesn't really have a proper story it wanders around touching on pretty much every social subject you can imagine. I seriously wonder how much of it i'm actually GETTING. The version i read had no annotations, that coupled with the age, the fact its a translation and the humor which rarely dates well, i doubt i'm really absorbing more than 65% of the original text.
Its crass toilet humor is probably the highlight of the work as it's so strange to see in something this old and it's so basic that transcends time.
The last two books are the most 'Gulliver' like. Book 3 is the weak link being one longggggg joke which can be a bit of a slog to get through.
You'll need patience to read this as Rabelais's style is quite long-winded. Overall its interesting enough, i still prefer it to Don Quixote but not quite sure why people go nuts over it. ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
I'm done done done with this book and couldn't be more excited. It's like reading one of those teenage boy comedies... the humor is all about bodily functions and (classic though it may be) it doesn't contribute much to the quality of my life. I get why those old maids in The Music Man were so stubborn about it... and I don't get why they changed the song in the newest version (the alterers obviously never read it).

Hopefully, never again will I read this. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (79 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rabelais, Françoisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bonfantini, MarioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buckinx, ThéoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cohen, J. M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Doré, GustaveIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hémard, JosephIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hutchins, Robert MaynardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kauffer, Edward McKnightCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Le Clercq, Jacques Georges ClemenceauTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Le Motteux, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Motteux, Peter AnthonyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pape, Frank C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peter Antony Motteuxsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Putnam, SamuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raffel, BurtonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rieu, E. V.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sandfort, J.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Screech, M. A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Urquhart, Sir ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Most noble and illustrious drinkers, and you thrice precious pockified blades (for to you, and none else do I dedicate my writings), Alcibiades, in that dialogue of Plato's which is entitled The Banquet, whilst he was setting forth the praises of his schoolmaster Socrates (without all question the prince of philosophers), amongst other discourses to that purpose said that he resembled the Sileni.
Quotations
So far as I am concerned, I would have every man put aside his proper business, take no care for his trade, and forget his own affairs, in order to devote himself entirely to this book. I would have him allow no distraction or hindrance from elsewhere to trouble his mind, until he knows it by heart; so that if the art of printing happened to die out, or all books should come to perish, everyone should be able, in time to come, to teach it thoroughly to his children, and to transmit it to his successors and survivors, as if from hand to hand, like some religious Cabala.
If you say to me: 'It does not seem very wise of you to have written down all this gay and empty balderdash for us,' I would reply that you do not show yourself much wiser by taking pleasure in the reading of it.
If you want to be good Pantagruelists, moreover - that is to say, to live in peace, joy, and health, always making good cheer - never trust in men who peer from under a cowl.
Friar John: "By my thirst, dear friend, when the snows are on the mountains - the head and chin, I mean - there's no great heat in the valleys of the cod-piece." Panurge: "By the blisters on your heels, you don't understand plain logic. When the snow's on the mountains there is thunder, lightning, whirlwinds, avalanches, tempests and all the devils in the valleys...You mock me for my greying hair, but you don't consider that my nature is like the leeks, which we find white on top when its tail's green, straight, and vigorous."
Last words
Disambiguation notice
This work does indeed contain all five of the books of Gargantua and Pantagruel (i.e. Gargantua, Pantagruel, The Third Book, The Fourth Book, The Fifth Book), even though in some cases (e.g. the Penguin Classics edition), only ‘Gargantua’ and ‘Pantagruel’ are mentioned on the front cover.

Any editions consisting of only ‘Gargantua’ and ‘Pantagruel’ (check the table of contents) should be separated from this work.
This work consists of the five books of Gargantua and Pantagruel, i.e.:
- Gargantua
- Pantagruel
- The Third Book (Le tiers livre)
- The Fourth Book (Le quart livre)
- The Fifth Book (Le cinquième livre)
Should not be combined with editions that contain only the first two books.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

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It includes; GARAGANTUA and PANTAGRUEL.
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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