Mythology lovers know the taste of Luc Ferry for this area and know that he regularly seeks to popularize it, whether through play or now through comics. We have received two volumes, devoted to two essentials of Greek mythology: the myth of Prometheus and the songs of the Iliad. These comics are published by Glénat editions in a new collection "The wisdom of Myths" which, like the collection "They have made history", is accompanied by a file allowing to deepen the subject.
Comics as a popularization tool
The choice of the myths that will be treated in this collection is judicious, are to appear: the birth of the gods, the Odyssey, Heracles, Perseus, Jason or even Theseus. The first two volumes are devoted to Prometheus and the Iliad (first volume of a triptych). The myth of Prometheus is a founding myth, which the screenwriter deals with from the defeat of the Titans until the liberation of Prometheus by Heracles. Prometheus, creator of Men, condemned to be chained in the Caucasus mountains to have their liver devoured by an eagle while his creations are punished by a poisoned gift: Pandora, the femme fatale ... This myth poses fundamental questions: why man? What is Man? What is the Woman? Clothilde Bruneau's screenplay (whose work on Charlemagne or Soliman we had already praised) based on Plato's Protagoras and Giuseppe Baiguera's drawing allow a global and fairly complete vision of the myth in a shorter time and accessible to all. On this point, the popularization objective has been achieved. The final file is nicely illustrated with various works, from the 16th to the 19th century, evoking the myth. This dossier produced by Luc Ferry begins by taking up the Platonic version of the myth which for once is quite redundant with comics. The professor of Philosophy then tells the version of the myth according to Hesiod which brings interesting variations. But the analysis stops there, the former Minister of National Education has just returned to the mythological origin of the ring and to the expression "to be of Olympian calm" but he does not go further in the explanation of the myth. We would perhaps have liked this file to go a little further and evoke in particular the question of the image of the Woman in the myth, to be put perhaps in echo with the statute of the Woman in ancient Greece. The question of freedom and the irrepressible tendency to hybris, although raised, would certainly also have deserved to be deepened. Finally, the files of the collection "The wisdom of the Myths", unlike those of the collection "They made history" do not offer readers an indicative bibliography to deepen the subject.
Better understand the myths
The first volume devoted to the Iliad poses, with a clever flash-back game, the elements of the context of the Trojan War, from the marriage of Thetis (mother of Achilles), through the apple of discord which gives his name in the volume, the wrath of Achilles, the duel between Paris and Menelaus and until the furious charge of Diomedes fortified by Athena. We will not dwell on this volume, the qualities of which are similar to the one devoted to Prometheus. We will however qualify the shortcomings highlighted in the previous volume. Indeed, in this first volume devoted to the Iliad, Luc Ferry does not content himself with recounting what has already been told in the comic strip but explores three points that have remained in abeyance: the reason for the marriage of the goddess Thetis with a mortal , the link between the bone of contention and Prometheus and finally how Paris regained his status as prince: very useful complements to fully understand the myth.
“Sagesse des Mythes” collection - Scenario by Luc Ferry. Glénat, 2016.