Haglund’s thoughtful and informative volume is about more than Rabelais’s contempt for fortune because it is also about the nature of nature and philosophy in relation to Machiavelli and Diogenes but also more generally.
In his recent book, Rabelais’s Contempt for Fortune: Pantagruelism, Politics, and Philosophy Timothy Haglund reintroduces Rabelais beyond the comic and as a philosopher in his own right. Haglund makes sense of the contradictions of this philosophical comedian and provides insight into Rabelais as an introspective political thinker whose texts are significant sources of Renaissance intellectual history that ought rightly to take their place within a wider genealogy. Haglund’s book is a worthwhile study of Rabelais that makes unique contributions to existing literature.
There is always a refreshing quality to reading a study on a major author that is written by a scholar from an entirely different background. Such an “outside” approach often enhances our understanding in quite significant ways. . . . This ambitious book is certain to open up promising venues of interdisciplinary investigation that will enhance our understanding of political philosophy in early modern literature.