The unfettered exuberance of Gargantua and Pantagruel, the storms of phenomenal life it offers for our inspection, the honor it gives to the deformed, the cloacal, and the profane aspects of existence are at the very heart of Rabelais’ genius. But the author of this fantasia on the lives of a father-and-son pair of giants was one of the most magnificent and magnificently learned products of the Renaissance; and he also represents, as well as any of its other great figures, that era’s love of the human body and its exaltation of the human in the face of the divine.
François Rabelais was born at the end of the fifteenth century. A Franciscan monk turned Benedictine, he abandoned the cloister in 1530 and began to study medicine at Montpellier. Two years later he wrote his first work, Pantagruel, which revealed… More about Francois Rabelais