Monday, June 11, 2007

I love 20th century lit. It's fascinating stuff even if it's pretty nigh impossible to teach, all those allusions and symbolisms and what have you. I'm currently doing Sons and Lovers with the freshers, and trying to lead kids just fresh out of school into the intricacies of modern lit is like trying to teach a day old baby all about arthritis and old age pains and pangs.
Anyway to get into Sons and Lovers, it's imperative to know all about poor old Oedipus who in all probability wouldn't have lent his name, had he been asked, to the Freudian theory. I usually ask the kids to dig into the Oedipus myth first and then the theory and then we get into the book.
Which all leads me to this pert little poem with an unexpected feminist twist that I found online


Long afterward, Oedipus, old and blinded, walked the
roads. He smelled a familiar smell. It was
the Sphinx. Oedipus said, "I want to ask 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."

- Muriel Rukeyserink



  1. now that's a fairly refreshing post, full of allusions and symbolisms :)

    poor kids, having to hear your rant when they could be anywhere in this big bad world... but i guess same holds true for you too ;)

    This Muriel fella seems pretty clever... what say Man? ::)))

  2. Sorry I couldn't reply earlier but I was busy washing out my beard :P
    And I do NOT rave and rant!! I am the most patient person in the world, believe me. Well, almost. That's if you don't count the ticking off I gave a kid yesterday for not taking running notes of my Very Important lecture. She was just sitting there gawping at me with the blankest expression any self-rspecting teacher would never want to see on a student's face :P

  3. every self-respecting teacher much admit that gawping is much much better than yawning, whatsay? :)

  4. Gawping is yawning with the eyes wide open