Alison Evînam Boyd

a life creative

Favourite Things Friday – “Oedipus and the Riddle”

One of my very, very favourite writers.
I wasn’t introduced to Jorge Luis Borges (in the form of “The Book of Sand”) until first year uni and, in keeping with the vein of his writing, I experience a vague panic in trying to catch up on him; a sense of the time that has been lost behind me.
The labyrinthine nature of time, space and reality are recurring themes in his work: fractals, spirals and mirrors, and the liminal, ever-receding-from-reach comprehension of inexplicable things – including ourselves.

Oedipus and the Riddle
Jorge Luis Borges (trans. John Hollander)

At dawn four-footed, at midday erect,
And wandering on three legs in the deserted
Spaces of an afternoon, thus the eternal
Sphinx had envisioned her changing brother
Man, and with afternoon there came a person
Deciphering, appalled at the monstrous other
Presence in the mirror, the reflection
Of his decay and of his destiny.
We are Oedipus; in some eternal way
We are the long and threefold beast as well –
All that we will be, all that we have been.
It would annihilate us all to see
The huge shape of our being; mercifully
God offers us issue and oblivion.

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This entry was posted on July 9, 2010 by in creativity.

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