One major tenet of much modern Rabelais criticism since Screech and Defaux — and even. in certain ways, since Lefranc — is that the Oeuvres cannot fully be appreciated by the present-day reader until he acquires familiarity with matters known to Rabelais and his intended audience. As shown again most recently by Gerard Defaux, there are "codes culturels" subtending much of the Oeuvres, codes to which Rabelais most definitely was alluding and of which modern readers must therefore be aware if they are to perceive the meanings that Rabelais knew his own readers, familiar with these codes, would derive from his texts.



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