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Sunday, July 9, 2023

Oz Fritz on Francois Rabelais

At his blog, Oz Fritz has a long essay up on the French writer Francois Rabelais, "The Hermetic Transmission of Francois Rabelais," tracing Rabelais' influence (or echoes) in figures such as Frank Zappa, Aleister Crowley and Robert Anton Wilson.  Here is one bit, to give you an idea:

"The enduring effect of Rabelais on entertainment culture, even in small ways, goes largely unnoticed these days. How many fans who have seen Pink Floyd play live post-Animals album realize that the flying pig at their concerts appeared in the third book of Pantagruel? A satire on semiotics, two characters communicating nonverbally through ridiculous signs and gestures happens twice in the Pantagruelian adventures. A skit riffing off the same premise would turn up some 400 years later in an episode of Monty Python and the Flying Circus called Michael Ellis. This episode strongly influenced writer Robert Anton Wilson as I document here.  Studies exist looking at the influence of Rabelais upon Monty Python. Someone writing as Dr. Karma calls Rabelais the father of modern sketch comedy in the piece The Quintessence of Rabelaisian Pythonesque."

1 comment:

Oz Fritz said...

Thanks for posting this Tom. I like the descriptor you used, "echoes", as a synonym for R's influence. Also appreciate the Pantagruel photo you used from the blog. As a little teaser: I chose that photo to make a subtle connection with a short piece Rasa wrote that closes the forthcoming Lion of Light: Robert Anton Wilson on Aleister Crowley Hilaritas publication.