Can You Solve the Sphinx’s Other Riddle?

Interesting Literature

One of the most celebrated tragedies of ancient Greece was Oedipus Rex, Sophocles’ play about the Theban king who unwittingly killed his father and married his mother. In order to become King of Thebes, Oedipus had had to solve a famous riddle – or should that be riddles?

Oedipus was born to King Laius and Queen Jocasta of Thebes, but when Laius hears a prophecy that he will die at the hands of his son, he orders the child to be killed. The infant is left on a mountain to die, but a shepherd finds him and takes him in, raising him as his own son and naming him Oedipus (literally ‘swollen feet’, from the pins that had bound the infant’s feet together when he was found). When he grows up in Corinth, Oedipus learns of the prophecy that he will kill his father and marry his mother…

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Ferguson: 10 WordPress.com Bloggers Speak Out

Ferguson: 10 WordPress.com Bloggers Speak Out

The WordPress.com Blog

Many details about the violent death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, remain unclear. What is beyond doubt is the intensity of reactions to this story — in the media and in neighborhoods all over the US (and beyond). Here are ten personal perspectives on this event and its aftermath, from writers representing a diverse cross-section of the WordPress.com community.

14938226361_6a7a43dfda_oImage by Shawn Semmler (CC BY 2.0)

Gukira

Writer and scholar Keguro Macharia reacts with his usual incisiveness to one of the signature chants of post-Ferguson protests :

If “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” is an expression of “humanity,” as one tweet has it, we must ask for whom that humanity is available. In fact, the insistent repetition of “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” by black bodies across the U.S. might offer a less promising narrative: it might suggest the banality with which black life forms can never gain access to the vernaculars of the human.

hands up, don’t shoot

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What Is Left to Say?

What Is Left to Say?

tressiemc

In his 1934 essay, “A Negro Nation Within a Nation”, WEB DuBois wrote:

The colored people of America are coming to face the fact quite calmly that most white Americans do not like them, and are planning neither for their survival, nor for their definite future if it involves free, self-assertive modern manhood. This does not mean all Americans. A saving few are worried about the Negro problem; a still larger group are not ill-disposed, but they fear prevailing public opinion. The great mass of Americans are, however, merely representatives of average humanity. They muddle along with their own affairs and scarcely can be expected to take seriously the affairs of strangers or people whom they partly fear and partly despise.

For many years it was the theory of most Negro leaders that this attitude was the insensibility of ignorance and inexperience, that white America did not know of or…

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