Good Read: Gargantua and Pantagruel – Rabelais

Multi-faceted laugh-a-minute and dead serious

If you’re one of those folks who believe you ‘don’t like’ the works or Renaissance writers you might be the victim of having been forced to read the wrong ones by academians. Fact is the period includes some of the most entertaining writing mankind has ever been guilty of producing. Rabelais is one such example.

Academian praisers of Rabelais and this particular work have already expressed a lot of the truths to be found here, the exquisite style, the masterly satire. All they say is true and would be reason enough to read Gargantua and Pantagruel. I won’t repeat those laurels to affirm them. Instead, I’ll say it’s gutter crude, frequently barnyard humor with more levels than Grand Central Station.

Hilarious work.

But I’ll suggest another reason a segment of readers might find Rabelais interesting. Followers of the Thelemic ‘tradition’ created by Alister Crowley during the early 1900s might be surprised to discover Crowley’s claims to having channeled the doctrine from Horus in Cairo in 1910, were preceded by Rabelais several centuries earlier. Rabelais creates an imaginary monastery and sect of monks he names, “Thelema”, where a sign above the entry reads, “DO AS YOU WILL”. Sound familiar?

Give this book a chance. If you do you won’t regret it unless you offended by violations of polite discourse.

But if you read it as an admirer of Crowley’s channeling be prepared to have some of your balloons deflated, lean back and enjoy butchering of a sacred cow for the barbecue.

Some other blogs you might enjoy:

Old Fool’s Journal

This man has my admiration for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the cleanliness of his kitchen.

Coffee with the Hermit

If he doesn’t hit your interest button today likely he will tomorrow.

Outta the Cornfield

One of the most considerate people I’ve come across blogging.  Great pics.

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