21 August 2014

On vacation: Oedipus


by Muriel Rukeyser

"Long afterward, Oedipus, old and blinded, walked the roads. He smelled a familiar smell. It was the Sphinx. Oedipus said, "I want to ask you one question. Why didn't I recognize my mother?" "You gave the wrong answer," said the Sphinx. "But that was what made everything possible," said Oedipus. "No," she said. "When I asked, What walks on four legs in the morning, two at noon, and three in the evening, you answered, Man. You didn't say anything about woman." "When you say Man," said Oedipus, "you include women too. Everyone knows that." She said, "That’s what you think.""


  1. Wonderfully precise. I'm delighted. Too bad it doesn't work in many languages.

  2. .Works in Greek, which is likewise ανθρωποκεντρικός.


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