"Oedipus Wrecks" is the title of one of Woody Allen's short films but I think Spider Robinson used the phrase before this, in one of his novels.

Does anyone know where?

  • In the title or in the novel itself?
    – HDE 226868
    Mar 1 '15 at 18:08
  • 2
    Are you thinking of "Oedipus Rex"?
    – HDE 226868
    Mar 1 '15 at 18:20
  • 1
    @user14111 I know that; I'm suggesting that he's misremembering and heard the phrase in the Greek play, instead of in one of Robinson's works; the word "Oedipus" does not appear in any of the titles, although it might be buried somewhere in a chapter or subsection.
    – HDE 226868
    Mar 1 '15 at 18:40
  • @user14111 I assumed that he was asking about one of the titles, because if he was asking about the phrase in a book, one would have to comb though hundreds of pages to find the answer. I could very easily be wrong, but I didn't think that's what he's asking. But you could be right.
    – HDE 226868
    Mar 1 '15 at 18:53
  • @user14111 That's possible. I think you might be right. I hope Karl clarifies.
    – HDE 226868
    Mar 1 '15 at 18:58

I have found the source: it's Spider Robinson's book, Night of Power. The actual quotation is "if [my subconscious] keeps making me sneak peeks in the rear-view mirror, we're going to have one of those Oedipus Wrecks you keep hearing about."

  • I have an old e-book version of this story, and despite various searches could not find the line in the book. In checking I see the e-book I have is based on the "Revised by the Author" edition published in 1994, and includes an Afterword by Spider. I suspect the line was removed from the newer edition.
    – NJohnny
    Mar 26 '18 at 14:37
  • There IS a similar section at the start of chapter 3: "Better put those legs down, princess," her father said. "Or cover 'em up." "Oh, Daddy!" she said, opening her eyes and grinning. "You see me naked all the time." Her father sighed. "That sixteen-wheeler in the right lane is not pacing us to annoy the people behind him." She opened her eyes, shrieked, and was instantly vertical, dress covering her legs. - If this is not in the original then they may have changed Oepidus wrecks to this instead.
    – NJohnny
    Mar 26 '18 at 14:38
  • Yes, a free downloadable version of the 1994 text that contains the quotations NJohnny cites, minus the "Oedipus wrecks" passage, is available here < en.bookfi.net/s/?q=spider+robinson&t=0 >, along with many other Spider Robinson ebooks. The original edition was published in 1985.
    – Karl
    Mar 26 '18 at 22:09

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