Oedipus on the Road by Henry Bauchau
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This relatively short novel by Henry Bauchau, translated to English by Anne-Marie Glasheen from French, Oedipus sur la route, traces the eventful journey of the exiled Oedipe and his devoted daughter Antigone, from Thebes to Athens - a journey was as perilous as fantastic and marvelous, filled with discoveries of the past, present, the future, of other people and themselves.
This book is not a historical novel or a pictorial travelogue; rather, it is a journey of larger-than-life characters and their companions at different stages of their journey, full of wonder, discovery and quest, both externally and internally, and much more than a simple deconstruction of a well-known myth. These characters, in search of truth and destiny, struggled against themselves and the elements, and after much suffering and misery, through unyielding determination and mutual love, arrived at their unknown destinies and achieved eternity, while fulfilling their unknown mysterious duties destined for them, gradually revealed in the course of their self-discoveries and their growths, as human beings, and incredibly, but amazingly, as artists.
The language of the book, including dialogues and inner thoughts of characters from all social extractions, are formal, elegant and often wise; yet I willingly and easily surrendered myself to such artistic decision.
Reading their adventures, I felt very privileged to be allowed to accompany them on their winding paths and I have never felt so sad when their journey came to an end, for I have fallen in love even more with the stubborn and unpredictable Oedipus and the timid yet courageous Antigone, two classical characters always close to my heart.
A marvel of an epic in the Homeric fashion.
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