OEdipus filius

Year: 1999

Author: Claude Louis-Combet (*1932)

Artist: Christiane Vielle (*1950)

Publisher: Éditions Mirage

Title page with a frontispice by Christiane Vielle

Philosopher and translator Claude Louis-Combet deals with the meaning of Greek and Latin myths in his poetry, and allows autobiographical elements to inspire his work. A poem titled OEdipus filius (son Oedipus) seems tailor-made for him. The well-known story is about Oedipus who, according to the myth, murders his father in order to marry his mother. Louis-Combet's father died of tuberculosis when Claude was five years old, and although he did not marry his mother, as Oedipus had done, he did struggle with his father's absence.

Christiane Vielle

Engraver and illustrator Christiane Vielle was born in Saint-Raphael, near the city of Cannes in the south of France. She was very successful as a book artist, which was hardly surprising, as Vielle studied at the French elite university l'Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris from 1968 to 1974. She specialised in interior decorating and frequently colourful aquatints. Her work is a continuation of lyrical abstraction. The engravings in OEdipus filius for instance are elliptical in nature and are reminiscent of rocky landscapes, spaces or even gestures. In 1984 she received the 'Prix Guy Levis Mano' for the illustrations she made for Pierres by Roger Caillois. Éditions Mirage is a small publisher that was founded by Vielle herself for the publication of her own books.

This edition of OEdipus filius has a remarkable design. The text is printed on eleven slips of paper, which have been pasted together to form a single larger slip, the pages of which fold out like an accordion. The compact poems, which are often no longer than two words per line, seem to form a single extended poem that unfolds bit by bit. The pages have been designed in such a way that the stanzas seem to represent a trail of footsteps.

Bibliographical description

Description: OEdipus filius / Claude Louis-Combet ; Christiane Vielle, aquatintes. – Paris : Éditions Mirage, 1999. – Leporello (39 p.). : ill. ; 31 cm

Printer: Jean Hofer (Parijs-Gentilly)

Edition: 45 copies

This copy: Number 10 of 10 on Hahnemühle

Typeface: Bodoni

Note: With a supplementary series of the engravings in the first state.

Note: Signed by the author and the artist.

Bibliography: Bénézit 14-220

Shelfmark: KW Koopm K 333


  • Paul van Capelleveen, Sophie Ham, Jordy Joubij, Voices and visions. The Koopman Collection and the Art of the French Book. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands; Zwolle, Waanders, 2009
  • Paul van Capelleveen, Sophie Ham, Jordy Joubij, Voix et visions. La Collection Koopman et l'Art du Livre français. La Haye, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Bibliothèque nationale des Pays-Bas; Zwolle, Waanders, 2009
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  • Christiane Vielle: L'œuvre gravé, gravures, livres illustrés, monotypes. Saint-Quentin, Ville de Saint-Quentin, 1997