ONLINE SEMINAR
January 27 | Seriously Funny: The Fantastical Worlds of François Rabelais

Unique and controversial, the works of François Rabelais, a 16th-century monk turned physician and legal scholar, are deeply humanistic, sharply satirical, and seriously, playfully humorous — creative antidotes the doctor sagely prescribes for the ever-questing human body, mind and spirit.

Writing during a tumultuous time when fervent Catholic, Lutheran and Calvinist adherents fought bitterly for the soul and substance of Europe, Rabelais risked accusations of heresy from all sides to bravely articulate a humanistic alternative that captured the imagination of both scholars and common people. His philosophical and kaleidoscopic artistic creations centred on the giant-kings Gargantua and his son Pantagruel have made people think, laugh and enjoy for centuries. These five books in a single volume — including Pantagruel (1532); Gargantua (1534); and three others — are perfect for a lively series of online seminar discussions.

This seminar will be read-as-we-go; no knowledge of French or the historical period is required.

When: Six weekly seminars on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Eastern, beginning January 27, 2021.

Duration: 2 hours per session

Cost: C$350 plus 13% HST (approx. US$267 plus 13% HST)

Group Size: 12-participant limit

How: We will be using Zoom; you will receive joining instructions upon registration. For your privacy, all our Zoom seminars are password-protected and are never recorded.

All online seminar payments are nonrefundable. Select your registration below; please use the Toronto Pursuits credit option only if you are a registered participant of Toronto Pursuits 2020 who wants to put your deposit or previous payment toward an online seminar.

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Description

LEADER

Denise Ahlquist has been privileged to lead discussions of great literature with participants of all ages in widely diverse settings. Keeping a sense of humour has been vital during her years of traveling for the Great Books Foundation, and has been even more essential through our own recent tumultuous times. Spending time seriously thinking about and discussing what makes something both great and humourous sounds like just her kind of fun.

BOOK

Gargantua and Pantagruel, by François Rabelais, translated by M. A. Screech
(Penguin Classics, 2006)
ISBN-13: 978-0140445503

 

“I am, by means of a little Pantagruelism
(that is, as you know, a certain merriness of mind pickled in contempt for things fortuitous)
well and sprightly and ready for a drink, if you are.
Do you ask me why, good folk? … Physician, heal thyself!”

— François Rabelais, Prologue to the Fourth Book

Unique and controversial, the works of François Rabelais, a 16th-century monk turned physician and legal scholar, are deeply humanistic, sharply satirical, and seriously, playfully humorous — creative antidotes the doctor sagely prescribes for the ever-questing human body, mind and spirit.

Writing during a tumultuous time when fervent Catholic, Lutheran and Calvinist adherents fought bitterly for the soul and substance of Europe, Rabelais risked accusations of heresy from all sides to bravely articulate a humanistic alternative that captured the imagination of both scholars and common people. His philosophical and kaleidoscopic artistic creations centred on the giant-kings Gargantua and his son Pantagruel have made people think, laugh and enjoy for centuries. These five books in a single volume — including Pantagruel (1532); Gargantua (1534); and three others — are perfect for a lively series of online seminar discussions.

This seminar will be read-as-we-go; no knowledge of French or the historical period is required.

It’s everything you love about learning with Classical Pursuits — consistent focus on the text, emphasis on exploring meaning together, and a leader who asks questions to get you thinking — in virtual form.

All online seminar payments are nonrefundable.

Additional information

Choose registration type

Standard registration, Toronto Pursuits 2020 credit