“Very extremely rare edition” (Tchemerzine)
of Rabelais’ Œuvres.
Described for the first time by Plan,
it remained unknown to Brunet and Le Duchat.
Rabelais, François. Les Œuvres de Monsieur François Rabelais, Docteur en Médecine. Contenant cinq livres de la vie, faicts & dits héroïques de Gargantua, & de son fils Pantagruel. Plus La Pronostication Pantagrueline, avec l’oracle de la dive Bachuc, & le mot de la Bouteille.
Anvers, François Nierg, 1573.
16mo [119 x 72 mm] of 320 pp. and (4) ll. ; 408 pp. and (4) ll., 149 pp. and (11) pp.
Red morocco, triple gilt fillets around the covers, richly decorated ribbed spine, decorated leading edges, inner gilt dentelle, gilt over marbled edges. Binding signed by Lortic.
“Very extremely rare edition” (Tchemerzine) from the 16th century of Rabelais’ Œuvres.
It remained unknown to Brunet and Le Duchat.
Tchemerzine, V, 311-312 ; Plon, n°105 ; S. Rawles, M. A. Screech, n°67 ; En Français dans le texte, n°42.
“Described for the first time by Plan (n°105), it is very nicely printed and reproduces the 1571 edition by Pierre Estiart.” (Tchemerzine)
“No bibliographer, to our knowledge, has yet described this very elegantly printed edition; the one mentioned by Le Duchat and Brunet with the same date and printer which they attributed to the presses of Henri Estienne is the partial edition of book V we mentioned in the previous issue and is in a very different typeface.” (Plan)
“In the way of “the Greek miracle”, the crossover of logic and art. The Rabelaisian miracle comes from its unique crossover of laughter and knowledge.” (Henri Lefebvre)
“Pantagruel” and “Gargantua” are added in 1543 and 1544 on the list of books to be censored by the Sorbonne, and the Tiers livre will follow. If Rabelais remains the author of Pantagruel and Gargantua, we must not forget that these texts only represent one third of the Pantagruel gest and that their full meaning can only be grasped in regards to the entirety of his works.
Rabelais never stopped honing his narrative techniques, his characters, his messages to his readers.
“The Rabelaisian romanesque universe offers a system of unique references in literature, blending fiction and reality in spatial and temporal dimensions that escape all norms. Behind this marvelous world, in between the lines, his contemporary world appears.
The scholars never cease to bring to light new elements that show how Rabelais uses his work as a mirror of contemporary realities and even sometimes turns it into a work of political propaganda.” (Dictionnaire des auteurs)
There is, in Rabelais, the will to tell the world in all its diversity, to amass all of the words of all the languages, to establish lists, to seek abundance.
In this very particular universe the Rabelaisian laughter explodes, as a symbol of man’s dignity.
The comical verve is a humanist trend: it allows, as says Erasmus, truth to enter the spirit more easily.
“Very extremely rare edition.” (Tchemerzine)
Only 1 complete copy listed on the public market since the beginning of the surveys (Sotheby’s in 1974 for 170 £) ; that copy, in 19th century binding, was “incomplete of a few letters”.)
A beautiful copy preserved in its elegant red morocco binding signed by Lortic.
Provenance : Library of G. Van Havre, with ex-libris.