By Almut-Barbara Renger
Whilst Oedipus met the Sphinx at the highway to Thebes, he did greater than resolution a riddle—he spawned a delusion that, informed and retold, could turn into considered one of Western culture’s imperative narratives approximately self-understanding. choosing the tale as a threshold myth—in which the hero crosses over into an unknown and hazardous realm the place ideas and boundaries should not known—Oedipus and the Sphinx offers a clean account of this mythic stumble upon and the way it bargains with the thoughts of liminality and otherness.
Almut-Barbara Renger assesses the story’s meanings and services in classical antiquity—from its presence in historical vase portray to its absence in Sophocles’s tragedy—before arriving at of its significant reworkings in eu modernity: the psychoanalytic idea of Sigmund Freud and the poetics of Jean Cocteau. via her readings, she highlights the ambiguous prestige of the Sphinx and divulges Oedipus himself to be a liminal creature, supplying key insights into Sophocles’s portrayal and constructing a theoretical framework that organizes reviews of the myth’s reception within the 20th century. Revealing the narrative of Oedipus and the Sphinx to be the very paradigm of a key transition skilled through all of humankind, Renger situates delusion among the competing claims of technology and paintings in an engagement that has vital implications for present debates in literary stories, psychoanalytic idea, cultural historical past, and aesthetics.
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Additional info for Oedipus and the Sphinx: The Threshold Myth from Sophocles through Freud to Cocteau
See, for instance, G. Mason, “La computer Infernale: a latest variation of the Oedipus Legend by means of Jean Cocteau,” Greece & Rome nine. 27 (1940), 178–187, esp. 183–187; L. W. Leadbeater, “In security of Cocteau: one other View of los angeles laptop infernale,” Classical and sleek Literature 10. 2 (1990), 113–125; H. D. web page, “The resurrection of the Sophoclean Phoenix: Jean Cocteau’s l. a. desktop infernale,” Classical and sleek Literature 18. four (1998), 329–343. bankruptcy 1. A. Lesky and R. Herbig, “Sphinx,” RE three. A. 2, col. 1703–1749, the following 1711. 2. L. W. Daly, “Oedipus,” RE 17, col. 2103–2117 and RE Suppl. 7, col. 769–786, right here col. 786; see additionally L. Deubner, Oedipusprobleme (Berlin, 1942). For an outline of this and different interpretations of the “Oedipus- form,” see W. Pötscher, “Die Oidipus-Gestalt,” in Pötscher, Hellas und Rom (Hildesheim, 1988), 237–272. three. Cf. C. Robert, Oidipus: Geschichte eines poetischen Sto∏es im Altertum, vol. 1 (Berlin, 1915). four. Cf. M. P. Nilsson, “Der Oidipusmythos,” Göttingische Gelehrte Anzeigen 184 (1922), 36–46. five. See, for instance, U. Hausmann, “Oidipus und die Sphinx,” Jahrbuch der staatlichen Kunstsammlungen in Baden-Württemberg nine (1972), 7–36. 6. V. Propp, “Edip v svete fol’klora,” Ucenye zapiski Leningradskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta / Serija ﬁlologiceskich nauk nine. seventy two (1944): 138–175 (= “Oedipus within the mild of Folklore,” in Oedipus: A Folklore Casebook, ed. L. Edmunds and A. Dundes (New York, 1983), 76–121. 7. L. Edmunds, The Sphinx within the Oedipus Legend (= Beiträge zur klassischen Philologie 127) (Königstein, Ts. , 1981), 1. eight. The essay, initially in English, seemed in 1955 in T. A. Sebeok, ed. , fantasy: A Symposium (Bibliographical and unique sequence of the yankee Folklore Society, vol. five) (Philadelphia, 1955), 428–444. 3 years later, Lévi-Strauss integrated the essay into his Anthropologie structurale (Paris, 1958), 227–255, in his personal translation, lower than the identify “La constitution des mythes,” with the proviso “Traduit avec quelques enhances et modiﬁcations. ” ninety eight notes t o pages 2 2 –2 five 9. See C. Calame, “Le nom d’Œdipe,” in Edipo: Il teatro greco e los angeles cultura europea, ed. B. Gentili and R. Pretagostini (Rome, 1986), 395–407. 10. See Soph. OT 1032∏. ; Eur. Phoen. 26f. ; Diodorus Siculus four. sixty four. 1; Apollod. three. five. 7 (= three. 49). eleven. W. Benjamin, Das Passagen-Werk, 2 vols. , R. Tiedemann, ed. (Frankfurt am major, 1983), 1:618; The Arcades venture, trans. H. Eiland and okay. McLaughlin, (Cambridge, Mass. , 1999), 494 (translation modiﬁed). 12. A. van Gennep, The Rites of Passage (in French, Les rites de passage, 1909; London, 1960). thirteen. L. Gernet and A. Boilanger, Le génie grec dans los angeles faith (Paris, 1932); M. Delcourt, ed. , Œdipe ou los angeles légende du conquérant (1944; Paris, 1981); V. Propp, “Oedipus within the mild of Folklore. ” 14. J. Bremmer, “Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex,” in Interpretations of Greek Mythology, ed. Bremmer (London, 1987), 41–59. in accordance with Bremmer, the constitution of the Oedipus tale corresponds to the constitution of the Theseus tale, in Greek mythology, and the tale of Geriguiguiatugo, in South American mythology.