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Crossroads in the Black AegeanOedipus, Antigone, and Dramas of the African Diaspora$
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Barbara Goff and Michael Simpson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199217182

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217182.001.0001

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Introduction Introduction Answering Another Sphinx

Introduction Introduction Answering Another Sphinx

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction Answering Another Sphinx
Source:
Crossroads in the Black Aegean
Author(s):

Barbara Goff (Contributor Webpage)

Michael Simpson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217182.003.0001

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

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