OEDIPUS ON THE ROAD by Henry Bauchau


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A lyrical and unfortunately attenuated extension of the familiar story of the stricken and blinded Theban king. Bauchau, a well-known Belgian novelist and poet, describes the aged Oedipus's journey to exile and his subsequent death in Colonos as a dreamlike ordeal in which he's accompanied by his distraught daughter Antigone and a notorious bandit, Clios. The three take turns telling the story, in language that feels (at least as translated here) forced, awkwardly charged, and laden with monitory abstractions. Though his very situation compels attention, and though Oedipus's late-life education in self-knowledge is intermittently moving, this disappointingly static fiction adds nothing to our knowledge of the legend and little to the image of its protagonist as a proud man humbled and transformed by fate.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1997
Page count: 248pp
Publisher: Arcade