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Did you know the first imaginary library was invented in the mid 1500′s?

The “very stately and magnifick” imaginary library invented by Alcofribas Nasier (an anagram of François Rabelais) was called St. Victor, and found in Paris. Some of the imaginary works it contained were:

  • The pomegranite of vice

  • The trevet of good thoughts

  • The hatchpot of hypocrites

  • The bumsquibcracker of apothecaries

  • The cobbled shoe of humility

  • The History of the Hobgoblins

  • The racket of swag waggers

  • The shackles of Religion

[Image by "Gustave Doré-L'Enfance de Gargantua” via]

More works in this special collection can be found in Rabelais most famous book: “The Horrible and Terrifying Deeds and Words of the Very Renowned Pantagruel King of the Dipsodes, Son of the Great Giant Gargantua”

from Rabelais’ talents as a writer, according to Alberto Manguel’s “The Library at Night,” “he could read Latin, Green, Italian, Hebrew, Arabic and several dialects of French; he had studied theology, law, medicine, architecture, botany, archeology and astronomy; he enriched the French language with more than eight hundred words and dozens of idioms…


As many out-of-the-box thinkers of his time, his work was banned by the church; yet his influence on world literature is recognized today.

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