Gargantua and Pantagruel pentalogy classic Renaissance novels

The five books of Gargantua and Pantagruel are renowned in world of literature and especially the first two books, Pantagruel (c. 1532) and Gargantua (1534), have earned status as classics.

The books revolve around the giant Gargantua1 and his son Pantagruel, two illustrious figures created by the French author François Rabelais (1494-1553). Rabelais shocked his contemporary readers with the heretical content. The popularity of these books became immense, and the reason behind it was the outrageous jokes about drinking, sexuality and a large amount of gross humor.

Furthermore, the books contain a freshness and vitality that have conserved them in time and
the pentalogy has remained famous and, as already mentioned, Pantagruel and Gargantua in particular. Contemporary readers are still taking the pleasure of Rabelais’ novels, for the matchlessness Pantagruel and Panurge characters and the supreme use of the parody.

The heritage of Rabelais is enormous in literature and has also been subject to the word Rabelaisian, which are referring to someone or something that is “marked by gross, robust humor, extravagance of caricature, or bold naturalism“.

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1. Gargantua was based upon a Celtic God with the same name, although it could originally had been named Gurgiunt or Gargam according to
The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore.