Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Les Songes Drolatiques de Pantagruel (The Humorous Dreams if Pantagruel)

In 1565, 12 years after the death of Rabelais, there appeared a volume of illustrations entitles Les Songes Drolatiques de Pantagruel, ou sont contenues plusiers figures de l'invention de masitre Francois Rabelais: & derniere oeuvre d'iceluy, pour la ecreation de bons esprits ("The humorous dreams of Pantagruel, wherein are contained many figures from the master Francois Rabelais: & his last work, for the amusement of good spirits"). The original, for which none of the uncredited drawings survive, was published by Richard Breton, Paris. The exact meaning of the drawings is unclear, and has beendebated by scholars. Some claim it is political and satirical, holding, for example, that the likeness of Pope Julius II appears no less than twenty-one times. These are considerations for scholars.

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