Abstract

The present contribution offers a close reading of Alexandros Papadiamantis’s first-person short story «Ὑπὸ τὴν βασιλικὴν δρῦν» (“Under the Royal Oak Tree”), published in March 1901. Behind its euphoric atmosphere and carefree façade, which relates a child’s attraction to a majestic tree, this less-than-realistic tale conceals a poignant struggle between sexual desire and parental and religious prohibition. The tree’s transformation into a ravishing young woman during the main character’s sleep—the focal point of the story—along with the free associations of the dreamer reveal a blend of oedipal fantasies and recurring Papadiamantian themes. Furthermore, the extremely rich and overdetermined vocabulary of the text transforms the oak tree into a pluralistic symbol.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3265
Print ISSN
0738-1727
Pages
pp. 111-131
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-29
Open Access
No
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