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Les Grands Jours de Rabelais en Poitou: Actes du colloque international de Poitiers (30 aout-1er septembre 2001).

Marie-Luce Demonet, ed. Les Grands Jours de Rabelais en Poitou: Actes du colloque international de Poitiers (30 aout-1er septembre 2001).

Travaux d'Humanisme et Renaissance 408, Etudes Rabelaisiennes 43. Geneva: Librairie Droz S. A., 2006. 448 pp. index. illus. [euro]120. ISBN: 2-600-01016-5.

It is always difficult to review a collection of papers. Either the reviewer ends up merely repeating the table of contents, presenting a few superficial comments about each one, selecting a few papers to discuss in depth, or carrying on at great length about all of them. As a reader of reviews, this reviewer finds the first option to be the most helpful, for this tells what is in the book and what one should look for there.

This volume is a collection of papers, slightly amended based on discussions and suggestions, presented at an international conference in Poitiers from 30 August to 1 September 2001. According to the "Avant-Propos" by Marie-Luce Demonet, this colloquium was not simply a regional appendix to the Rabelaisian commemorations held in Nice, Montpellier, Paris, Leyden, and Tours in 1994 and 1995, but rather an acknowledgment of the importance of the Poitou area in the formation of this important author, especially its influence on the Cinquiesme Livre.

The first section here is entitled Le Genie du lieu and presents the following papers: Richard Cooper on "L'Histoire en fete," humanist thoughts on the glory of Poitou; Gilles Polizzi's "Rabelais, Thenaud, l'ile de la Dive et le Quint Livre"; Myriam Marrache-Gouraud on "Lanternes poitevines"; Christine Escarmant and Jean-Loic Le Quellec's work, "La chasse au Bitard des etudiants poitevins: Panurge bachelier."

Part 2, Affinites poitevines, gives us Mireille Houchon on "Rabelais, Bouchet et la Nef des Folz," Stephane Geonget's "Panurge et Xenomanes, Rabelais et Bouchet" Amitie et perplexite," Francois Rigolot's "Le Labyrinthe du songe-mensonge," also on Bouchet and his influence on the Tiers Livre, and Claude La Charite writing on "De Architectura Orbis et De l'excellence et immortalite de l'ame d'Amaury Bouchard: l'expression figuree et le lieu de l'antecedent." Also in this section are a paper by Rosanna Gorris Camos on Lyon Jamet's religious and existential itinerary, Barbara Bowen on "Rabelais, Claude Cotereau et la tranquil-lite d'esprit," Paul J. Smith and Titia J. Schuurs-Janssen on Rabelais and Jean Thenaud before 1517, and Didier Veillon on "Le De legibus connubialibus d'Andre Tiraqueau." As can be seen, this is the largest section of this volume.

Part 3, Cousinages, contains three papers: Jean Ceard on "Rabelais, Tiraqueau et Manardo," Jean Hiernard on "Les Germani a l'Universite de Poitiers au temps de Rabelais," and Michel Cassan on famous writers from Poitou according to Pierre Robert (1589-1656).

The fourth and final section, Livres, Textes, Ecritures, presents seven papers: Liliane Jageneau on Rabelais's language, Jelle Koopmans on Rabelais's debt owed to farces, Trevor Peach on three images of the Poitivine edition, Veronique Zaercher on a comparative study of various writers of the Discours non plus melancoliques que divers, Sophie Arnaud discussing Jacques Peletier du Mans as the writer of this Discours, and Marie-Luce Demonet on Rabelais's influence on this text. The concluding essay, Michel Renaud's "En Poitou, c'est-a-dire nulle part," summarizes the importance of this area on Rabelais and other writers of his time.

As is true with all books published by Droz, this is a beautiful volume. It merits an important place in the Etudes Rabelaisiennes collection and will add immeasurably to the study of Rabelais and the importance of the years he spent in Poitiers during his time as a monk.

CATHERINE CAMPBELL

Cottey College, Nevada, Missouri
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Author:Campbell, Catherine
Publication:Renaissance Quarterly
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 22, 2007
Words:587
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