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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 09 | volume II | June-July, 1999



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 09June-July, 1999

The Incest – One of the Inclinations that the World Hasn't Finished Dreaming Yet

- Artistic Reflections upon the Adelphic Myth in the European and Balkan literary context -

p. 1
Angelina Banović-Markovska

Who is it that doesn't marvel and wonder upon this age,
    And how are these times fashioned to augment our sins?

    (Epistle of Jovan Zlatoust)

    When we think about the secrets and taboos which, without regard to the temporal distances, perpetually astound us, we, involved in the inner dialogue with ourselves and the world, ask ourselves whether the interpretation of the myths – traces left in time – have stopped being a challenge for us?
    The topic that this essay deals with will probably raise controversial thoughts. That is so, without doubt, because out of all forms of love in a contemporary and civilized society, it is perhaps only the incestuous one that raises adverse feelings, so it is no wander that many refuse to talk about it. Understood as one of the most characteristic categories of wrongdoing, it can easily cause abuse of the authority of the speaker, but when we deal with the corpus of literary works from the world and European artistic production that tackle this phenomenon, we must admit that we are faced with fascinating aesthetic achievements. It is enough to remind ourselves of the associations awoken by the great tragedy of the myth of Oedipus, or the biblical myth of Lot and his daughters, and it will became apparent that without regard to the manner in which this eccentric phenomenon has been treated in the literary tradition, for many authors it has grown into an unavoidable literary inspiration. This is what the passionate investigator of the myths of love, Denis de Rougemont, has to say with regard to this: “When we get to know the myths that tempt us better, when we discover where their logic comes from, and where it leads, we will probably be prepared, on our own risk, to responsibly accept the love, and to turn towards ourselves. Maybe we will be free to do something even more than that[1].”
    But, in order to understand the dark logic of incest, and to realize the irrational strength of this eroticism, we will first have to learn to read and interpret the hidden power of myths.

    1.0. Having been born in the polemics between the sacred and the profane (the taboos and their sacrilege), the incest has grown into a great literary topic at which many famous authors have tried their talents. In the myths as collective discourses[2] that know not of the concept of individual subject[3], they have seen


1. Denis de Rougemont, Myths of Love, Beograd, 1985, p. 37;
2. C. Levy-Strauss assures us that in the myths it is not the people who do the thinking, but the very myths within people, and without their knowledge.
3. The individual is not a myth by definition.

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