Oedipus Unbound: Selected Writings on Rivalry and Desire
Did Oedipus really kill his father and marry his mother? Or is he nothing but a scapegoat, set up to take the blame for a crisis afflicting Thebes? For René Girard, the mythic accusations of patricide and incest are symptomatic of a plague-stricken community's hunt for a culprit to punish, and Girard succeeds in making us see an age-old myth in a wholly new light.
The hard-to-find writings assembled here include three major early essays, never before available in English, which afford a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the emergence of Girard's scapegoat theory from his pioneering analysis of rivalry and desire. Girard unbinds the Oedipal triangle from its Freudian moorings, replacing desire for the mother with desire for anyone or anything a rival desires. In a wide-ranging and provocative introduction, Mark R. Anspach presents fresh evidence for Girard's hypotheses from classical studies, literature, anthropology, and the life of Freud himself.
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accusation becomes blind chorus Christian Chu-bu conclusion conflict Corinth Creon crisis Cuddihy cultural death Deceit desire dialectic difference double enemy brothers episodes Erinyes essential expulsion Freud Gilbert Durand Greek guilty hero Holderlin Ibid identified identity incest initial subjectivity innocent interpretation Jean Santeuil Jean-Pierre Vernant Jocasta Joseph Joseph story killed his father Laius Laius's married his mother meaning mediator murder mythical mythology never Northrop Frye novel novelistic experience object obstacle Oedi Oedipus and Tiresias Oedipus myth Oedipus the King Oedipus's once oracle original paternal patricide patricide and incest perceive pharmakos plague play Polybus prophet Proust psychoanalysis quoted reciprocity recognize relationship Rene Girard reveals reversal ritual rival rivalry role Rudnytsky sacred sacrifice scandal scapegoat sense Shakespeare Sheemish skandalon snobs Sophocles sphinx Stendhal story stranger structure symbolism Thebans Thebes thing thinks tion Tiresias's tragedy tragic trans transcendence truth turn undifferentiation University Press victim violence words