Carlo Gebler and Sara Baume discuss the life and pre-life of Oedipus Rex, as written by his daughter Antigone
Carlo Gebler agus Sara Baume ag plé scéal shaol agus réamhshaol Oedipus Rex, mar a scríobh a iníon Antigone é
Last year Carlo Gébler, Adjunct Professor in Creative Writing at the Trinity Oscar Wilde Centre, interviewed his former student Sara Baume, upon the release of her non-fiction musings in Handiwork. The theme of the book was especially relevant during lockdown when, stuck at home, many turned to craft projects. This year, in a role-reversal, Baume has agreed to come to Dingle and interview Gébler about his new work, I, Antigone.
As the eldest son of one of Ireland’s finest writers, Edna O’Brien, Gébler’s literary stock is impeccable, and his many talents extend to film and documentary-making. Alongside working as a writer, Carlo Gébler has also worked as a director and writer of films for television and as a prison teacher. His various awards and honours include a Major Individual Award (2006) from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Margaret Frazer Bursary (2007) from Queen’s University Belfast. He was elected to Aosdána in 1990.
His latest book is a new retelling of the life of Oedipus Rex, as written by his daughter Antigone. It’s a fascinating look at the complexities of blame, punishment and justice, problems which resonate as much today as they did in the times of myth.
Gébler says, “In her biography, Antigone tells her father’s story as she believes it to have been. However, she is no hagiographer: she doesn’t deny his wrongs yet she also wants us to know – and this is her thesis – that though we might like to think actions are self-generated and self-directed, when the facts are excavated it isn’t nearly so straight-forward. Yes, choices might be made by malefactors like Oedipus but sometimes their choices are made for reasons outside their control…”
“Fresh and vital…a wonderful achievement.” – Roddy Doyle on “I, Antigone” by Carlo Gébler.
“She more or less breaks every rule you could think of for writing a novel, in a very special way, because you can only do that if you are a person of genius, which I think is what she is.” – Sebastian Barry on Sara Baume.
Sarah Baume is the author of two novels, Spill Simmer Falter Wither which was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, the Warwick Prize for Writing and the Desmond Elliott Prize, and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and A Line Made By Walking, as well as Handiwork, a contemplation on crafting and making.