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Gargantua and Pantagruel

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An elaborate parody written in the 16th century, "Gargantua and Pantagruel" is a comic blend of energetic realism and carnival fantasy. The two main characters are giants, a father and his son, who have numerous adventures. Many different types of people are satirized during their chivalric exploits, from lawyers to theologians, generals to monarchs, with humor that is often grotesque or obscene. Intertwined with this crude comedy, however, is the wisdom of Renaissance learning, which exposes countless examples of human foolishness. Divided into two volumes, one describes a sullied giant who grows into a grand knight and prince, and the other portrays his erudite son who himself becomes a Renaissance Socrates. Rabelais' work is full of freedom and laughter, as well as a certain understanding that will give readers a renewed worldview.

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