Chapter

Introduction Introduction Answering Another Sphinx

Barbara Goff and Michael Simpson

in Crossroads in the Black Aegean

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780199217182
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191712388 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217182.003.0001

Series: Classical Presences

 Introduction  Introduction Answering Another Sphinx

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The Introduction pursues the theme of identity by considering the varieties of ‘family’ in the plays. The grounding of civilization is investigated by means of the dichotomy of orality and literature, as well as the polarity between Thebes and Athens. To develop this analysis, the profile and potential of Oedipus and Antigone in Western and African philosophical traditions is examined. The book's argument about cultural transmission contends that the African-descended adaptations of Oedipus and Antigone indict colonial culture for the infliction of oedipal violence, while themselves enacting an oedipal bind as they simultaneously embrace and resist those cultures. Above and beyond this bind, the plays offer more benign models of transmission constituted within the African continent and diaspora. The Introduction recasts the arguments of Freud and Bloom by a focus on Fanon, and advocates a specific theoretical re-orientation of reception studies to equip it to do postcolonial analysis.

Keywords: identity; civilization; cultural transmission; Freud; Bloom; Fanon; Oedipus; Antigone; family; orality; philosophical traditions

Chapter.  17619 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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