Editor: Miles Leeson

This is the first edited collection of essays which focuses on the incest taboo and its literary and cultural presentation from the 1950s to the present day; it considers a number of authors rather than a single author from this period. This study discusses the impact of this change in attitudes on literature and literary adaptations in the latter half of the twentieth century, and early years of the twenty-first century. Although primarily concerned with fiction, the collection includes work on television and film. This collection will enhance the growing academic interest in trauma narratives and taboo-literature, offering a useful contribution to a fast-evolving field of artistic criticism which is concerned with the relationship between social issues and creativity. Authors discussed include Iain Banks, A.S. Byatt, Angela Carter, Simone de Beauvoir, Ted Hughes, Doris Lessing, Ian McEwan Iris Murdoch, Vladimir Nabokov, Andrea Newman and Pier Pasolini and Sylvia Plath.

Open Access (free)
Gender, sexuality and transgression
Author: Jenny DiPlacidi

This book demonstrates that incest was representative of a range of interests crucial to writers of the Gothic, often women or homosexual men who adopted a critical stance in relation to the heteronormative patriarchal world. In repositioning the Gothic, representations of incest are revealed as synonymous with the Gothic as a whole. The book argues that extending the traditional endpoint of the Gothic makes it possible to understand the full range of familial, legal, marital, sexual and class implications associated with the genre's deployment of incest. Gothic authors deploy the generic convention of incest to reveal as inadequate heteronormative ideologies of sexuality and desire in the patriarchal social structure that render its laws and requirements arbitrary. The book examines the various familial ties and incestuous relationships in the Gothic to show how they depict and disrupt contemporary definitions of gender, family and desire. Many of the methodologies adopted in Gothic scholarship and analyses of incest reveal ongoing continuities between their assumptions and those of the very ideologies Gothic authors strove to disrupt through their use of the incest trope. Methodologies such as Freudian psychoanalysis, as Botting argues, can be positioned as a product of Gothic monster-making, showing the effect of Gothic conventions on psychoanalytic theories that are still in wide use today.

Science fiction and the futures of the body
Alistair Brown

inhabit and, most significantly for the context of the present book, our familial and sexual relations. 3 This chapter looks towards the futures of incest through the lens of science fiction. By examining the depiction of incest in three narratives concerned with different posthuman technologies of reproduction and embodiment – androids ( Abiogenesis ), genetic cloning ( Plan for Chaos ), and artificial

in Incest in contemporary literature
Narrative, affect and judgement in and across the Lolitas
Matthew Pateman

Incest in Lolita is manifested in two different forms. The first is, within the fictional world, what may be deemed incest by marriage. Humbert Humbert marries Charlotte Haze and begins a sexual affair with her daughter, now his step-daughter. That this is paedophilic as well as legally incestuous is something made very clear in both film versions (Stanley Kubrick’s, released in 1962, set in

in Incest in contemporary literature
Metaphor and relation in the poetry of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath
Charles Mundye

incest narratives from Ovid’s Metamorphoses as starting points, I trace dialogic exchange across texts by Hughes and Plath, extending the spirit of Eavan Boland’s injunction to revel in their mid-century conversation by listening to the voice in Hughes’s late works: ‘It is a joy to speculate at the end of this century on that mid-century dialogue – how across continents, traditions and sex they spoke

in Incest in contemporary literature
Open Access (free)
Disrupting the critical genealogy of the Gothic
Jenny DiPlacidi

is no fine writing in these volumes … but in point of moral tendency they are unexceptionable. Review (1794) of Eliza Parsons, Castle of Wolfenbach ( 1793 ) 2 Frances Burney’s assessment of Horace Walpole’s play The Mysterious Mother ( 1768 ) reflects a strong discomfort with its depiction of mother–son incest that

in Gothic incest
Re-examining paradigms of sibling incest
Jenny DiPlacidi

relationships between fathers and daughters were examined; in particular, how the transgressive nature of father–daughter incest can cause a breakdown of patriarchal society that is more complex than the conventional positioning of paternal incest as representative solely of a threat to the heroine. Incest in the Gothic does not, however, exist exclusively between heroines and their fathers and/or father

in Gothic incest
Open Access (free)
Female sexual agency and male victims
Jenny DiPlacidi

[O]‌n genetic grounds, mother–son incest should be the rarest, brother–sister more common, and father–daughter the most common. Joseph Shepher, Incest : A Biosocial View ( 1983 ) 1 In examining the occurrence of

in Gothic incest
Father– daughter incest and the economics of exchange
Jenny DiPlacidi

Let a veil be drawn over the unimaginable sensations of a guilty father. Mary Shelley, Matilda ( 1959 ) 1 There are several problems that usually emerge in scholarship examining representations of father–daughter incest in the Gothic, even in works by scholars

in Gothic incest
Open Access (free)
Incest and beyond
Jenny DiPlacidi

potential of the genre to be reclaimed and evaluated in highly profitable ways. Scholarship on the Gothic was reinvigorated through its reclamation by feminist critics that helped to establish the genre’s importance as an intervention into the contemporary debates of the eighteenth century. Nor do I wish to distance myself from the feminist perspective that has allowed incest to be understood as an abuse of

in Gothic incest