Letter: A complex issue

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The Independent Online
Sir: Adam Mars-Jones is surely closer to recognising a Laius Complex than is Tim Renton (letter, 9 February).

Laius, fearing the advent of his unborn child, consulted the Sybil. In the manner of seers, she told him what he expected to hear: that he would be displaced by his son. (Paternal anxiety about the infant monopolising the wife/mother's love and attention is probably more common - if less fashionable - than is the adult Oedipal son actively competing with Dad). Accordingly, Laius took (inept) steps to have his son killed at birth. It is surely correct to identify the death of the son at his father's hand, whether or not 'by mistake', as a Laius act.

Yours faithfully,


Diss, Norfolk

9 February