Terminus:Rocznik VII (2005), zeszyt 1-2 (12-13)
Dział:rozprawy i przyczynki
Autorzy: Justyna Zaborowska-Musiał 
Tytuł:Antyczna mitologia w ujęciu Charlesa Alberta Demoustiera

The article deals with the manner of perception and presentation as well as the role of ancient Greco–Roman myths in Charles Albert Demoustier’s work entitled Lettres à Emilie sur la mythologie (Letters to Emilie, on Mythology, 1786–1798). The work of the French writer is by no means scientific. Demoustier neither seeks the myths’ origins nor does he research them in the spirit of euhemerism or allegoric interpretation; nor does he try to find analogies between classic myths and legends from other cultures, as other researchers and writers of the Enlightenment did. To Demoustier, a myth provides simply perfect literary material: much like for Ovid, who the author draws upon in abundance, he finds the myth a story worth telling. Despite this, Letters to Emilie, on Mythology provide a systemised mythological exposition, in which the author followed the principle of hierarchy and genealogy. Nevertheless, Demoustier limits his scope only to those mythological tales whose leading motive is love and passion. Such a selection of the original material let him build an interesting chronicle of deities’ amorous adventures, which at the same time can be perceived as a specific record of social life of contemporary French elites. This was possible thanks to the numerous implications, allusions and comments upon current affairs, problems, customs, and the libertine lifestyle of the social elite. Besides these, the work retains a personal character. Not infrequently do the mythological tales narrated become an excuse to comment and reflect on own feelings – should we assume that this is not a literary convention – towards Emilie: the addressee of the work and a friend. Mentioned above, the indications of current affairs and personal reflections make the Letters to Emilie, on Mythology more than just dry presentation of mythological content by an educated writer, making the work innovative, colourful, lively, and brimming with humour. Another proof of its unorthodoxy is the convention: that of a letter written in prose interwoven with verse.