Acknowledgments

With paw held high, Book of the Sphinx salutes those who made it possible. William Kohlhaase was the first to get all the way through it; his survival and recovery were heartening. My brother Phil, my twin, my ka, deserves thanks from Dante:

O Sol che sani ogni vista turbata,
tu mi contenti sì, quando tu solvi,
che, non men che saver, dubbiar m’aggrata.

My thanks to Anthony Esolen for this translation:

O sun who clear and cure all troubled sight,
you please me so much when you solve these things—
no less than knowledge, doubt is a delight!
Inferno 11.91–93

Thanks to my father for my mother, to my mother for my father, and to my sisters, Diane and Margot, for a hundred years of woman lessons.

While I was out chasing Sphinxes, Liz Dulany and Margo Chaney fed my cats. In a righteous world my cats could claim coauthorship. Warm Zeno, calico Roma, the Mighty Bud, Sultan Suleiman, and Trajan Aurelius are past the Sphinx now. Zephyr, Krishna, and Ramses the Great oversaw final revisions.

Thanks to Marc Shell for emergency kindness and to the Department of Comparative Literature at Harvard for a gasp of freedom. Thanks to Dominique and Julia Chéenne for saving my life, and to William Kinderman and Katherine Syer for sustaining it. Thanks to Milad Doeuihi, John Irwin, Warren Motte, Paul Olson, Avital Ronell, and Liliane Weissberg for reading early drafts. Thanks to Sander Gilman for steadfast encouragement.

Praises upon the beautiful Egyptomania of the Toronto Museum of Art and upon Jean-Marc Moret’s indispensable Œdipe, la Sphinx et les

-213-

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Book of the Sphinx
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Prrrrrrrr xiv
  • Preface xv
  • Psssssssss xvi
  • 1 - Phix and Horemakhet 1
  • 2 - Secrets 19
  • 3 - Confrontations 39
  • 4 - Riddles 69
  • 5 - Body 89
  • 6 - Eros 113
  • 7 - Mind 135
  • 8 - Symbol of Symbols 151
  • 9 - Exit 197
  • Acknowledgments 213
  • Notes 217
  • Bibliography 253
  • Index 287
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