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Rabelaisian Medievalisms: Pantagruel And Amadis

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Chapter Summary

The French translations of the Spanish chivalric romance Amadis de Gaula constituted a literary hype in the 1540s. François Rabelais published his first book, Pantagruel, in 1532, followed by Grandes Chroniques de Gargantua in 1535. An important episode of Rabelaisian medievalism is found in Pantagruel, which recounts the descent of one of Rabelais's characters, Epistemon, into the underworld. This chapter briefly turns to Rabelais's second book Gargantua. One of the main differences between Rabelais's book and his model is the complete absence of the matière de Bretagne. The chapter concludes that the evolution of Rabelais's books should not solely be explained within the vacuum of a work-immanent analysis, or by an exclusively biographical or historical perspective, but also in a broader perspective of his positioning in a changing literary field, by which he is influenced, and which he himself also influenced.

Keywords: Amadis de Gaula; Grandes Chroniques de Gargantua; Pantagruel; Rabelaisian medievalism



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