[Humanist] 24.521 further on Oedipus

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Nov 26 10:42:57 CET 2010

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 521.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2010 12:24:21 -0800
        From: Jascha Kessler <urim.urim at gmail.com>
        Subject: I hope our Humanists digitized or not will pardon me for a second comment

..but particularly to be pardoned for this correction of the remark re
OEDIPUS TYRANNUS that was posted above my own comment on Saul Bellow's
lecture at Cal Tech.  G. Elata-Alster offered: "In Oedipus, we do not only
take intellectual cognition of our own blindness ..." I have at present
waiting for editorial acceptance a longish essay that discusses the history
of opacity/blindness/obfuscation since the day Aristotle lighted upon the
work to discuss his theory of catharsis, as we have it in THE POETICS.  He
himself never alludes to, let alone mentions! the reason why "The Gods"
ordained his fate.  Since then people have been told it was his "blindness,"
or "hubris," or whatever.  Nonsense piled upon nescience.  It is mildly
amusing to think this insult to the hero, who was neither hubristic nor
blind, has blinded so many, if not all, for c.2300 years.  Things are not so
simple, Levinas and ethics notwithstanding.  If my essay is not published,
we will have to wait. I wrote it after 2 years' translating effort of the
great play, commissioned for the Complete Greek Drama series from U of
Pennsylvania Press, that was completed for the Millennium.  For those years
I grew increasingly uneasy having been taught he was what has been said
derogatorily of him and by teachers as  lesson to us all.  Word by word, it
just ain't so.  In the end he was the patsy, the sacrificial victim, and his
fate and doom will be familiar to anyone who knows something of the Old
Testament position on punishment for malefactors or evil-doers.
Patience, all.
Jascha Kessler

Jascha Kessler
Professor of English & Modern Literature, UCLA
Telephone/Facsimile: 310.393.4648

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