Friday, February 4, 2022

Feb. 4: Francois Rabelais, French writer, physician, and monk


Francois Rabelais (1494-1553) French humanist writer, physician, and monk primarily known as a writer of satire, of the grotesque, and of bawdy jokes and songs. Best known is Gargantua and Pantagruel (which gives us the word "gargantuan"), peopled by giants to expose his outsized parody of the outdated (medieval) views of the institutions of his day--including the church which he served. "Rabelaisian" has come to mean "marked by gross robust humor, extravagance of caricature, or bold naturalism" (per Merriam-Webster). [N.B.: Many sources express doubt about the date (and even the year) of his birth; this one seems traditional.]


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