Bestiaire fantastique des voyageurs by Dominique Lanni

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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As Vern Bullough notes: "Christianity was a male-centered, sex-negative religion with a strong misogynistic tendency. The very fact that it was male-centered and suspicious of sex would lead to a suspicious attitude toward woman as any kind of sexual creature,"12 an attitude here represented by Diana's vituperative condemnation and complete lack of sympathy. Jupiter represents the other point of view. The church discouraged virginity, except when coupled with a deeply-felt, demonstrable religious vocation.

Teach him arts And honour'd arms: for me, I have abjured All peopled cities, and betook myself To solitary deserts. " (45) Here we see Callisto choosing the role of Lady of the Beasts, preferring the animals, however wild they are, to the dishonesty of humans. Heywood has allowed his Callisto a dramatic and extreme reaction to Jupiter's treatment in the interest of exhibiting how extreme his treatment was of her. Never does Heywood explicitly sympathize with Callisto, but he depicts a woman who is independent, noble, and determined.

18 Attitudes toward the value of women's souls were also contradictory. The rise of neo-Platonism elevated woman's beauty to a source of divine understanding: "When a woman is loved, her lover is not only loving her but God and himself as well," Ian Maclean notes in The Renaissance Notion of Women. 20 The argument in Book III of Castiglione's The Courtier between the Magnifico Guiliano and Signors Gasparo and Ottaviano fairly represents the two sixteenth-century attitudes toward women. In spite of the humanism of the Renaissance, there were still strongly-held opinions about the limited capabilities, rights, and virtues of women.

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