Saturday, January 07, 2017


First-Class Authors

M.A. Screech, "Homage to Rabelais," London Review of Books 6.17 (September 20, 1984):
But not everybody likes Rabelais. Young Calvin did. The later Calvin did not. Nor did the Council of Trent — where the French were a tiny minority. Rabelais's Christian comedy was too much for Pius IV. His Index Tridentinus (1564) casts Rabelais among the 'forbidden authors of the first class'. He was ranked with Luther and Calvin. (Erasmus was in a different category.) Later he was joined by Montaigne, Pascal, Balzac and others, until the silly enterprise was laughed out of existence. To read, without prior permission, a 'first-class' author entailed excommunication.

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