i'll have to check in Oxford English Dictionary... the "writings of prostitutes" business seems clearly different than what i was told, but live and learn.
Well, Bob, as one who has studied the subject, you know as well as i do that interpreting and explaining the old mythic Greek legends and the literature that came from them is an uncertain business for modern scholars and students. I suspect that everybody's right here. Oedipus, of course, on finally learning that he was, indeed, the source of the curse on Thebes, took pins from his dead mother Jocasta's gown and gouged his eyes out, too devastated by the revealed truth of his own hubristic culpability to be able to see it. The whole business of Antigone's and other involved women's virtue (or lack of it) is wound up in the tale, and the Greek word pornographos, which literally translates as depicted in that etymological source I quoted (a pretty good one, I think, for online stuff), appears in both background material (including Homer) and the Sophoclean play.
Oedipus's biggest concern was with the nasty "uncleanness" of the whole business, and there's a lot of hand-wringing and chorusing about "cleansing" being the answer to this thorny little Theban problem (which is wound up in the politics surrounding relations with Athens, Argos and other cities, as well). When you throw in the curveballs the Delphic Oracle was throwing everybody, it's a wonder we can understand anything of the mess at all. Suffice to say that Oedipus couldn't stand the truth and, as the eyes offended him, he plucked them out.
The layer upon layer of philosophizing in this stuff always amazes me. Why, for example, is it necessary to gouge out two innocent eyes, when it is the people and circumstances that are responsible for the calamity? I mean, inquiring minds want to know...
Put my faith in the people
And the people let me down.
So, I turned the other way,
And I carry on anyhow.