Résumé du projet

English version

A Rabelais database and his sources
Works and Images, main Editions and Manuscripts


A primary "Rabelais" database, a pioneering project, was published online in 1995 by Etienne Brunet at the University of Nice, under our responsability, after the publication of a first set of texts on a CR-ROM (Les Electro-chronicques de Rabelais, Paris, Les Temps qui Courent, épuisé, 1994). The print edition was published in Poitiers, La Licorne editions, 1999.
At the present time, neither researchers nor the public can find on the Web, or even in a printed publication, the whole corpus of texts, written, or presumably written, by Rabelais. Since the Pleiade edition (Œuvres, by Mireille Huchon, 1994), that is the actual reference, new imputations are under development.
The FORSE project has been developed since 2006 by several contributors, who have an ample experience both of electronic publishing and of problems associated with editing of such a complex author. This research team (from Tours, Paris, Limoges, Lille and Poitiers, but also from other countries) wished to extend this expertise to a broad field consisting of the context in which the works of Rabelais were produced. Thanks to funding from local governments, which brings considerable co-financing, the Centre for Renaissance Studies in Tours possesses a suitable scientifically proven insfrastructure, but too small to assure a fast delivery of all the texts.

The BVH team and its collaborators are gathering around Rabelais an important body of material, the kernel of which is the complete works themselves in their major versions.
From this kernel an access to two secondary corpora would be possible, one involving antecedents --the most important sources-- the other decendants, with the early imitators of Rabelais.
Epistemon website gathers already the facsimile of the Œuvres (1564), Tiers Livre (1546) (Tours public library) Pantagruel and Gargantua (1542) (Châteauroux media library). Without additional funding, the transcripts schedule advances slowly, progressively that older versions of the novels of Rabelais are encoded in XML-TEI and put online:

- Tiers Livre from 1546 is online since december 2008. Transcribed and annotated texts will be included in the textbase Epistemon before it can be a real coherent subset.
- Tiers Livre from 1552, july 2011
- Quart Livre from 1552, july 2011

Fall 2011 :
- La Briefve Declaration, 1552

2012 :
- Quart Livre, 1548
- Pantagruel, 1542
- Gargantua, 1542
- Cinquiesme Livre, 1564

2013 :
- L’Isle Sonante, 1562
- Pantagruel, 1532
- Gargantua, 1534-35
- The manuscript of Cinquiesme Livre, 1564

Transcribed and encoded texts can be found in the textbase Epistemon, constituting a real consistent subset. They are searchable with PhiloLogic tool (Chicago University). Ideally, the project should include:

1) more than 30 editions of Rabelais' works, published between 1532 and 1564, the main items being in textual form, accompanied by manuscripts, autograph manuscripts (or so-called), and by a hitherto unpublished iconography;

Research on the identification and authentication of manuscripts will be made from tools specifically developed for the analysis of the writing, compared with a base of humanists "hands" developed by the IRHT. The imputation will be overturned or confirmed by comparison of the vocabulary with neutralization of the problem of graphic variants, with the Analog tool (developed by Marie-Hélène Lay, University of Poitiers). This project was supported in 2009 by the Universities of Poitiers and Tours.
2) a hundred sourcebooks, some of them being very well-known (such as Erasmus' Adagia), or relatively unknown as the Lectiones antiquae of Caelius Rhodiginus: to them we join unpublished manuscripts originating in humanist circles, some of which will merit a full text transcription;
3) between 30 and 50 books either showing the obvious influence of Rabelais (translations or adaptations), or mentioning Rabelais to criticize or to praise him.

The purpose of making these documents available is to provide primary sources, for interpretation as much as for biographical information. In order to avoid producing a gigantic encyclopedia, the terminus ad quem will be marked by the publication of the most peculiar imitator of Rabelais, François Béroalde de Verville, in his last work, the Moyen de parvenir (1610-1616), a moment that coincides with the end of the era of Henri IV.

As with other texts of the BVH program, FORSE texts will be processed by the software AGORA, which separates graphics and text boxes; text boxes for the optic character recognition software for old characters (RETRO) used to increment the basis of texts transcribed (see current projects).

The team hopes that this program developed around a major author of the Renaissance, may be recognized as both a priority for heritage and for technological advance accessibility of research results to all audiences.
ReNom project has obtained the Center region support (july 2011) and will allow the transcript and encoding of the main corpus and the process of names in connection with the people and places associated with the regional tourism context.
Marie-Luce Demonet, CESR, IUF
Last update : 22th july 2011

Documents :

Quart Livre bibliography for aggregation 2012 (by Marie-Luce Demonet et Raphaël Cappelen) and informations

Recent publications :

Rabelais et la question du sens, Actes du colloque international de Cerisy-La- Salle (2000), éd. Jean Céard, Marie-Luce Demonet, Stéphan Geonget, Genève, Droz, 2011.

Les Grands Jours de Rabelais en Poitou, Actes du colloque international de Poitiers (2001), éd. Marie-Luce Demonet, Stéphan Geonget, Genève, Droz, 2006.

Thesis in progress :

La citation chez Rabelais et dans les œuvres de fiction de la Renaissance, par Raphaël Cappellen

Seminar on Rabelais at CESR, on Quart Livre : 17th september 2011.