Approaches to Teaching the Works of François Rabelais

  • Editors: Todd W. Reeser, Floyd Gray
  • Pages: x & 342 pp.
  • Published: 2011
  • ISBN: 9781603290982 (Paperback)
  • ISBN: 9781603290975 (Cloth)
Approaches to Teaching the Works of Franois Rabelais Cover

“This volume meets an essential pedagogical need in the field and will therefore be a most welcome addition to the MLA Approaches series.”

—David Posner, Loyola University, Chicago

The works of François Rabelais—Gargantua, Pantagruel, the Tiers livre, and the Quart livre—embody the Renaissance spirit of discovery and are crucial to the development of early modern prose and to the birth of the novel. Rabelais’s exuberant satire deals not only with the major cultural and intellectual issues of his time but also with issues of interest to students today.

This volume, in the MLA series Approaches to Teaching World Literature, suggests the materials that can be used in teaching Rabelais: editions, translations, criticism, Web sites, music, artwork, and films. Thirty-four essays present strategies for the classroom, discussing the classical and biblical allusions; the context of humanism and evangelical reform; various themes (giants, monsters, war); both feminism and masculinity as vexing subjects; Rabelais’s erudition; and the challenges of teaching his inventive language, his ambiguity, and his scatology.

Tom Conley
Edwin M. Duval
Gary Ferguson
Carl Fisher
Carla Freccero
Andrea Frisch
Kirsten A. Fudeman
Timothy Hampton
Elisabeth Hodges
Karen James
Scott D. Juall
Marcus Keller
Virginia Krause
Lawrence D. Kritzman
David LaGuardia
Kathleen Long
Deborah N. Losse
Mary McKinley
Jan Miernowski
John O’Brien
James M. Palmer
John Parkin
Jeff Persels
Michael Randall
Richard Regosin
Bernd Renner
François Rigolot
Jerry Root
Cynthia Skenazi
Walter Stephens
Timothy J. Tomasik
Valerie Worth-Stylianou
Elizabeth Chesney Zegura

Acknowledgments (ix)

Preface (1)

PART ONE: MATERIALS

Editions and Translations (5)

Floyd Gray

Recommended Readings for Students and Instructors (8)

Floyd Gray and Todd W. Reeser

Aids to Teaching (11)

Todd W. Reeser

PART TWO: APPROACHES

Introduction (23)

Floyd Gray and Todd W. Reeser

Literary and Textual Approaches to Rabelais

Rabelais and Hybridity (37)

François Rigolot

The Prologues: Rabelais on Reading and Writing (47)

Richard Regosin

Intertextuality: The Bible (54)

Edwin M. Duval

Panurge, Parody, and Perplexity: From Satyr Play to Satire (62)

Bernd Renner

Rabelais and Language: Change, Decay, Transition (73)

John O’Brien

Teaching Rabelais’s Language: A Literary Approach (80)

Todd W. Reeser

Teaching Rabelais’s Language: A Linguist’s Perspective (86)

Kirsten A. Fudeman

Teaching Rabelais in English Translation (92)

Valerie Worth-Stylianou

Cultural Contexts

The Prologue of Gargantua; or, A Lesson in Scandal Management (100)

Jan Miernowski

Teaching Rabelais’s Backside (110)

Jeff Persels

Locating and Teaching Politics in Rabelais (115)

Timothy Hampton

Writing Reform: Evangelical Reform and Religious Controversy in Rabelais’s Work (122)

Deborah N. Losse

On Gargantuan Individualism (130)

Michael Randall

Utopian Dimensions of Pantagruel (135)

Scott D. Juall

Rabelais and Cartography (144)

Tom Conley

The World in Pantagruel’s Mouth: Alimentary Aesthetics and Culinary Consciousness (159)

Timothy J. Tomasik

Rabelais’s Giants (165)

Walter Stephens

Teaching Gender and Sexuality

Rabelais and Feminism (174)

Elisabeth Hodges

Queer Rabelais? (182)

Carla Freccero

Masculinity and the Question of Gender (192)

Lawrence D. Kritzman

Specific Episodes

On Becoming Human: Gargantua, Chapter 13 (200)

Virginia Krause

The Predicament of Peace in Gargantua (211)

Marcus Keller

Teaching Gargantua’s Letter to Pantagruel (219)

Cynthia Skenazi

Deciphering the Sibyl: The Third Book, Chapters 16–18 (226)

Floyd Gray

Modes of Transit: Domestication and Estrangement in The Fourth Book (233)

Andrea Frisch

Classroom Contexts

Thawing the Frozen Words: The Importance of Aural and Visual Culture in Teaching Rabelais (238)

Elizabeth Chesney Zegura

“And Now for Something Completely Different”? Approaching Gargantua through Monty Python (248)

Gary Ferguson

Rare Books and Web Pages: Using Internet Resources to Teach Rabelais (255)

Karen James and Mary McKinley

Reading the Rabelaisian Storm: An Exercise in Student Motivation (262)

John Parkin

Teaching through Student Performance: Rabelais and the Rassias Method (268)

David LaGuardia

Reconstructing Early Modern Folk Laughter through Creative Writing (274)

James M. Palmer

Comparative Approaches to Rabelais

An Allegorical Framework for Reading Gargantua in a Great-Books Class (279)

Jerry Root

Comic Realism: Teaching Gargantua and Pantagruel in Comparative Contexts (287)

Carl Fisher

“The Truth Is Out There”: Rabelais in a Survey Course on Monsters (298)

Kathleen Long

Notes on Contributors (309)

Survey Participants (313)

Works Cited (315)

Index (337)