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Undead Dindenault: economics, theatre, and economic theatre in Rabelais's Quart livre and beyond

Eastop, Zak (2022) 'Undead Dindenault: economics, theatre, and economic theatre in Rabelais's Quart livre and beyond.', Early Modern French Studies .


This article is primarily concerned with the Dindenault episode (chapters V-VIII) of François Rabelais’s Quart livre, which deals with economic and theatrical themes simultaneously. While previous studies have tackled these themes separately, I outline how they ought to be considered in tandem and, indeed, rely on one another for significance. I argue that in the Dindenault episode, Rabelais’s use of common theatrical structures and motifs serves as a stage upon which to mount socio-economic critique, constituting a performance of theatrical economics, in the context of a broader example of economic theatre. I then turn to one of the nineteenth-century afterlives of Rabelais’s texts – Théodore Labarre’s and Henri Trianon’s 1855 opera Pantagruel – claiming that the interdependence of the Dindenault scene’s economic and theatrical themes is retroactively confirmed by its move into one of its ‘downstream contexts’: the shepherd’s scandalous afterlife on the musical stage of Second Empire France.

Item Type:Article
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.
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Publisher statement:© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:05 July 2022
Date of first online publication:05 May 2022
Date first made open access:05 July 2022

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