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Posts Tagged ‘Pantagruel

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream”*…

 

In 1565, twelve years after the death of François Rabelais (1494-1553) — the French Renaissance author best known for his satirical masterpiece The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel, the bawdy tale of two giants, Gargantua and his son Pantagruel [see here] — the Parisian bookseller and publisher Richard Breton brought out Les songes drolatiques de Pantagruel (The drolatic dreams of Pantagruel). The slim volume, save a short preface from Breton, is made up entirely of images [like the one above] — 120 woodcuts depicting a series of fantastically bizarre and grotesque figures, reminiscent of some of the more inventive and twisted creations of Brueghel or Bosch…

More of the backstory and more of the illustrations at “The Drolatic Dreams of Pantagruel.”  See the original, in full, at The Internet Archive.

* Edgar Allan Poe

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As we explore the extraordinary, we might send mysterious birthday greetings to a master of grotesque characters: Mary Flannery O’Connor; she was born on this date in 1925.   The author of two novels and thirty-two short stories (as well as a number of reviews and commentaries), she was an exemplar of the Southern Gothic movement in American literature.  Her posthumously compiled Complete Stories, which won the 1972 U.S. National Book Award for Fiction, has been the subject of enduring praise.

 source

 

 

Written by LW

March 25, 2018 at 1:01 am

“I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State… These two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death”*…

 

The Redeemed Christian Church of God’s international headquarters in Ogun state has been transformed from a mere megachurch to an entire neighbourhood, with departments anticipating its members’ every practical as well as spiritual need.

A 25-megawatt power plant with gas piped in from the Nigerian capital serves the 5,000 private homes on site, 500 of them built by the church’s construction company. New housing estates are springing up every few months where thick palm forests grew just a few years ago. Education is provided, from creche to university level. The Redemption Camp health centre has an emergency unit and a maternity ward.

On Holiness Avenue, a branch of Tantaliser’s fast food chain does a brisk trade. There is an on-site post office, a supermarket, a dozen banks, furniture makers and mechanics’ workshops. An aerodrome and a polytechnic are in the works.

And in case the children get bored, there is a funfair with a ferris wheel…

In Nigeria, the line between church and city is rapidly vanishing: “Eat, pray, live: the Lagos megachurches building their very own cities.”

* George Carlin

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As we re-read Max Weber, we might recall that it was on this date in 1545 that Renaissance writer, physician, humanist, monk, and Greek scholar François Rabelais received the permission of King François I to publish the Gargantua series– Gargantua and Pantagruel as we know it.  In fact, Rabelais’ wild mix of fantasy, satire, the grotesque, bawdy jokes, and songs had been circulating pseudonymously for years.  The censors of the Collège de la Sorbonne stigmatized it as obscene; and in a social climate of increasing religious oppression in a lead up to the French Wars of Religion, it had been treated with suspicion.

Rabelais wrote at a time of great ferment in the French language, and contributed mightily to it– both in coinage and in usage.  But his influence was even broader (Tristram Shandy, e.g., is full of quotes from Rabelais) and continues to this day via writers including Milan Kundera, Robertson Davies, and Kenzaburō Ōe.

 source

 

Written by LW

September 19, 2017 at 1:01 am

“Everything you can imagine is real”*…

 

Gregory Frank Harris, Tea in the Garden, c. 1953

A mash-up of fine art and current SMS messages…

From the sacred…

Diego Velazquez, Christ Crucified, 1632

…to the profane…

Jacques-Louis David, Male Nude Known as Hector, 1778

… readers will find oh so many more at If Paintings Could Text

Rosa Bonheur, Portrait de Col. William F. Cody, 1889

[TotH to @mattiekahn]

* Pablo Picasso (whose paintings-with-texts are here)

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As we just hit “send,” we might recall that it was on this date in 1545 that François Rabelais received the permission of King François I to publish the Gargantua series– Gargantua and Pantagruel as we know it.  In fact, Rabelais’ wild mix of fantasy, satire, the grotesque, bawdy jokes, and songs had been circulating pseudonymously for years.

Rabelais wrote at a time of great ferment in the French language, and contributed mightily to it– both in coinage and in usage.  But his influence was even broader (Tristram Shandy, e.g., is full of quotes from Rabelais) and continues to this day via writers including Milan Kundera, Robertson Davies, and Kenzaburō Ōe.

 source

Written by LW

September 19, 2014 at 1:01 am

I may not know art, but…

The good folks at Metaphilm (“enjoying the late-night conversation about—you know—what the movie ‘really’ means”) invoke the spirit of their patron saint Robert Bresson to serve up an on-going series of essays that decode (“we don’t review, we interpret”).

Your correspondent has enjoyed entries ranging from…

Sympathy for the Devil
Dorothy Sayers and the American Faust Film
How a British Detective Novelist Can Help Us Understand an American Film Obsession

to…

Knight and Day vs. Inception
More Than This
Knight and Day delivers all the profundity that Inception only promises

But perhaps no one entry has been as impactful as Galvin P. Chow’s (in)famous reinterpretation of David Fincher’s martial masterpiece…

Fight Club
The Return of Hobbes
Hobbes is reborn as Tyler to save “Jack” (a grown-up Calvin) from the slough of un-comic despair

And lest readers think that criticism is an empty exercise, with no meaningful influence on the field that it surveys, consider GorillaMask’s illustration of Chow’s thesis:  I am Jack’s Calvin and Hobbes

(Special Calvin and Hobbes bonus:  Michael “Bing” Yingling’s Calvin and Hobbes, the Search Engine… tres cool!)

As we renew our subscriptions to Cahiers du Cinéma, we might recall that it was on this date in 1536 that monk, physician, humanist scholar, and writer Francois Rabelais  was absolved  by Pope Paul III of apostasy and allowed to get on with his work, both medical and literary.  Rabelais’ influential (and oft-imitated) satiric masterpiece, Gargantua and Pantagruel (five books, 1532-52) is a mock-quest… with the emphasis decidedly on the “mock”: the “prize” sought being at times the ideal toilet paper, at times the wisdom of the Holy Bottle.

Rabelais

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