In the Bible the Book of Genesis Chapter 19 describes how Lot’s wife becomes a pillar of salt after she looks back at the doomed sin-ridden city of Sodom. She is not named in the Bible, but may have been called Ado or Edith.

After abandoning his salt-column wife, Lot and his daughters take shelter in Zoar, then go up into the mountain to live in a cave. According to Jewish tradition, the daughters believed that the entire world had been destroyed, and that they were the only survivors. Concerned about the future of the human race, one evening Lot’s elder daughter makes Lot drunk and has sex with him without his knowledge. The following night the younger daughter does the same. They both become pregnant, the older daughter giving birth to Moab, the younger to Ammon.

As Lelek points out in the commentary to his version, the Lot story is the female version of the Oedipus tragedy. As in the Oedipus story, one parent is eliminated – in this biblical saga it is the mother. With the death of the mother, there is no longer any prospect of a male successor continuing the genealogical line. Lot is old and has lost all courage to live, having lost his house, his flocks, and his wife.

The fact that Lot is still alive is thanks to his all-powerful uncle Abraham, because otherwise Yahweh, angered by the Sodomites’ practice of anal intercourse, would have destroyed Lot and his family too. Abraham bargains with God for all the inhabitants of Sodom, but cannot prevent the city from falling. Lot drowns his sorrows in alcohol, but his daughters, who are also daughters of Sodom, outwit the almighty, thus saving the Lot family from extinction through incest and making Lot the progenitor of the new tribes of Moabites and Ammonites.

It could be said that Lot’s daughters act humanely, not letting their old father down, and giving him the opportunity to become a patriarch like God-blessed Abraham. But they don’t act entirely selflessly; they want to follow their desire to become mothers, not waiting humbly like Sarah for a divine miracle, or being promised by an angel that a blessed people of God will come into being. They initiate the only way forward they believe possible, even though it involves incest.

Lelek’s version of the story combines his trademark coloured pencil images of small men and oversize women with a balloon text which often makes the tale contemporarily hilarious. ‘Don’t worry dad! You are not alone!’ says one of the daughters after ‘Mom’ has become a pillar of salt. Lot replies, clearly from long experience, ‘She was always a smartypants’.