Oedipus rex at eve's bayou or the little black girl who left sigmund freud1 in the swamp

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7 Scopus citations


This writing 'performs' theory and 'embodies' writing as it questions specific psychoanalytic theories of the phallus, the mirror and jouissance in the context of ruminations of what it means to make art and judge it. Art, theory, and blackness are at once essentialized and fragmented in the pull between Lacanian notions of phallic power and the notions of a black woman needing to respond to the changing demands of truth and creation. Noir, a woman, troubled by resentments of the popular and of cultural critics, writes letters to her friend and next door neighbour, Oedipus Rex, in her search for the truth of affective/effective creation. Oedipus Rex as a prevailing taboo, a universal symbol, and a cornerstone of the psychoanalytic is recast into a 'silent' respondent as Noir contemplates desire, the phallus, and the alchemy of black women in the gothic film Eve's Bayou. That Oedipus is 'not read' through his own letters, but only through the letters of this black woman is an oblique repositioning of subjectivity and voice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-340
Number of pages30
JournalCultural Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000


  • Art
  • Blackness
  • Freud
  • Lacan
  • Memory
  • Truth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Social Sciences


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