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Rabelais’s Silenic Regime: The Fundamentals of Gargantua

Rabelais’s Silenic Regime: The Fundamentals of Gargantua

Chapter:
(p.99) Three Rabelais’s Silenic Regime: The Fundamentals of Gargantua
Source:
Renaissance Posthumanism
Author(s):
Judith Roof
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823269556.003.0003

“Rabelais’ Silenic Regime: The Fundamentals of Gargantua” appropriates the figure of the silenic box, which confounds distinctions of inside and outside and whose description precedes the account of Gargantua’s birth in Rabelais’ scatological work of Renaissance humanism, as an object lesson about how posthumanism is always (already) a necessary part of humanism. Observing how Gargamelle, Gargantua’s mother, gives birth to her son only after her fundament or anus slips out as a result of eating bad tripe, Roof argues that Rabelais replaces ideas of precedence with notions of enclosure and in doing so gives the lie to the idea of a linear history that progresses through a succession of monolithic epistemes or totalizing worldviews.

Keywords:   enclosure, Gargantua, humanism, linearity, posthumanism, Francois Rabelais

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