The Changing Subject and Object Positions in the Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, or Why the Matrixial Philosophy of Bracha Ettinger leads to the Backwards Glance of Eurydice?

The Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice has been studied for about three thousand years along the same lines, as would be expected from one of the leading patriarchal foundational narratives of the western imagination: male subject in search of female object to fulfil his emptiness and identity. Although this story originally took part in a generalized climate of mythos and could be seen as a necessary addition and supplement for knowledge generated by logos, it developed very quickly into a piece of evidence for, and an illustration of, a number of essentialist discourses. However, from the beginning of the twentieth century onwards, a number of the organising hierarchies belonging to the main structure of the plot have been questioned regarding their gendered and power orientated construction and indeed have been destablised. Due to the criticism formulated by poststructuralism, the excluded categories forced a new creativity and posed the question, amongst others, what the same myth could signify, when elaborated from a female point of view. Bracha Ettinger formulated a completely original answer to this question.

Oedipus, with or without his “Complex”, the Myth of the Male Truth

The story of Oedipus has been used throughout the ages in a variety of ways, by both artists and scholars. In this paper, the author highlights the host of aspects and motives which have turned this story into a myth, a tragedy and a very popular literary model in Western cultural history. As a myth, it can be read horizontally or vertically, synchronically or diachronically, and on the basis of either a masculine or a feminine imagination. It is argued that when it is read as just proof of the Oedipus complex, as Freud did, many equally important aspects are ignored. But whatever the interpretation we give to the story of Oedipus, it remains a construction told by men for men, a myth of male truth.

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