TWO LEGENDS: by Andre Gide


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A play from 1930, and a philosophical written in 1942, shaking and setting on their feet the Oedipus and Theseus legends, respectively. Oedipus, in the brief, exquisite play is vigorous, aggressive - secure in completeness and a humanistic fulfillment, until under the god-blind darkness of his past, he acknowledges his failure to keep the individual from the infection of the gods. Theseus, in which the legendary figure ruminates his self-manipulated intellectual growth, is a beautiful work -- rich in a delicate sensuousness, triumphant in affirmation. Threads to the past guide him for the necessary present but never hold him, and in spite of, or because of, grief, he founds a city, ""playing out his hand to the end"". In a debate with Oedipus at the close, when confronted by the fallen king's mystic absorption in sin, Theseus reaffirms the humanist position.

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 1950
Publisher: Knopf