Bestiaire fantastique des voyageurs by Dominique Lanni

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By Dominique Lanni

Créatures mythiques, monstres légendaires, animaux improbables… Depuis l. a. nuit des temps, les voyageurs ont peuplé les mondes lointains d’êtres aussi fascinants qu’effrayants.

Basilic ou invunche au corps hideux, Niam Niam ou Lestrygon aux moeurs étranges, Fiura ou sirène aux pouvoirs envoûtants, satyre ou homme-singe entre humanité et bestialité, nasique, orang-outang, baleine, éléphant et autres animaux exotiques élevés par les récits au rang de légendes…Ce bestiaire illustré, véritable cupboard de curiosités des voyageurs, nous transporte aux frontières du réel et des imaginaires.

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Thou healedst our Saviour Jesus Christ, and staunchest wound;/in the name of [Father, Son, Holy Ghost], take thee from the ground [1608]. his bleeding I The effectiveness of these herbs that their prototypes Dum&il, Ouran6$-Varuna 64 Cf. Moret's is attributed to the fact were discovered at a decisive cosmic (Paris, 1934), pp. 4<2, 62. of the sacred character of royalty in Egypt, and classic studies Labat's of Assyro-Babylonian royalty. 30 ARCHETYPES AND REPETITION moment (in illo tempore) on Mount Calvary.

Hocart has very 51 rightly brought out the ritual role of hostilities. Each time the conflict is repeated, there is imitation of an archetypal model. In Nordic tradition, the first duel took place when Thor, provoked by the giant Hrungnir, met him at the 'frontier" and conquered him in single combat. The motif is found again in Indo-European mythology, and Georges * Dumezil 52 rightly regards it as a late but authentic version of the very ancient scenario of a military initiation. The young warrior had combat between Thor the military initiation consists in an to reproduce the and Hrungnir; in fact, act of daring whose mythical prototype is the slaying of a frenzied berserkir, ferocious warriors, realized precisely the state of sacred fury (wut, menos, furor) of the primordial world.

Something They all else: this resemble one another in the fact of their miracu- lous birth; and, just as in the Mahabharata and the Homeric poems, at least one of their parents is divine. As in the epic songs of the Tatars and the Polynesians, these heroes undertake a journey to heaven or descend into hell. To repeat, the historical character of the persons celebrated in epic poetry is not in question. But their historicity does not long resist the corrosive action of mythicization. The historical event in itself, however important, does not remain in the popular memory, nor does its recollection kindle the poetic imagination save insofar as the particular historical event closely approaches a mythical model In the bylina devoted to the catastrophes of the Napoleonic invasion of 1812, the role of Czar Alexander I as head of 42 ARCHETYPES AND REPETITION the army has been forgotten, as have the name and the of Borodino; all that survives is the figure of importance Kutusov in the guise of a popular hero.

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