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Hägglund, T. Hägglund, V. (1981). The Boy who Killed his Father and Wed his Mother. The Oedipus Theme in Finnish Folklore. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 8:53-62.

(1981). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 8:53-62

The Boy who Killed his Father and Wed his Mother. The Oedipus Theme in Finnish Folklore

Tor-Björn Hägglund and Vilja Hägglund


This paper presents the Finnish folk tale of the Oedipus myth recorded in the nineteenth century, and it represents the mutual externalization of the oedipal fantasies of the folk culture. The interpretation of the tale lays special stress on its duality: the father's viewpoint vs. the son's viewpoint, i.e. the displacement of father's envy problems of the pregnant and childbearing wife to the contest between father and his adolescent son. The envy problems of adolescent Oedipus toward his parents' sexuality are basically tantamount to his striving to resolve the mystery of mother's inner genitals, and the function of the genital inner space. In his attempts to return to the regressive motherchild fusion, Oedipus acts irrationally when the adolescent sexual inquisitiveness and sexual desire are fused.

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