Working this summer on a book I began thinking about while still teaching at Vanderbilt University in the 1980’s. The first chapter explores the metaphor of standing in Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and in Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis.” What does it meaning to be human? It means to go on 4 legs in the morning, on 2 at noon, and on 3 in the evening. Unfortunately, that heroic uprightness is fraught with impending decay as the name Oedipus / Swollen Foot portends. The Sphinx can’t standing on 2 legs, nor can the vermin Gregor Samsa has become. Gregor’s upright family, however, is both stagnant and violent as Homo erectus.
I’ll offer the topic as an Integrated Studies course this coming fall. And perhaps have a good draft of the book by the end of summer 2018.