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At the Rabelais Café...

... have a taste of conversation.The engraving is from the 1870s, by Gustave Doré, illustrating "Gargantua and Pantagruel" — written in the mid-1500s by Rabelais, who is under discussion in this earlier post today. That picture is used — in a recent issue of The Paris Review — to introduce an essay by Robert D. Zaretsky, who "argues that we’ve lost sight of the grotesque—and of the immense floodgates of laughter that it alone can open":Laughter that upends hierarchies and undoes centuries of moral self-seriousness, leaving no one unscathed as it washes over the masses.
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