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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.

Open Access (free)
Incest and beyond
Jenny DiPlacidi

scientific insights. The interdisciplinary approach enables readings that expose the ways in which different incestuous relationships engage with eighteenth-century concerns over family, social obligation, individual rights, inheritance laws and desire. The fruits of this broad methodology are evidenced through recent works on the Gothic such as Diana Wallace and Andrew Smith’s The Female Gothic: New

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

discussions of the incest taboo contribute to reading father–daughter incest within a gendered framework that tends to view this incestuous relationship as alternately imagined or abusive. Freudian approaches are often applied in conjunction with anthropological understandings of incest such as those advanced by Claude Lévi-Strauss, who theorised that: ‘the prohibition of incest is … the fundamental step … in

in Gothic incest
Open Access (free)
Tania Anne Woloshyn

Drs Eleanor H. Russell and William K. Russell, who made a direct analogy between the actinic light of flash photography and that of phototherapy. In Section I of this chapter I explore this alliance, but in Section II , I want to tease out the tensions in what came to be an uneasy, incestuous relationship between photography and light therapy, between the visualising and therapeutic powers of light. This was especially the

in Soaking up the rays
Open Access (free)
Disrupting the critical genealogy of the Gothic
Jenny DiPlacidi

most disturbing of all incestuous relationships. Samuel Taylor Coleridge was even more repulsed by the play than Frances Burney, calling it ‘the most disgusting, vile, detestable composition that ever came from the hand of man. No one with a spark of true manliness, of which Horace Walpole had none, could have written it.’ 5 Coleridge’s detestation of the play and his sense

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

believe illuminates a disjunction between the prevalence of scholarship featuring Oedipus Rex and Freud in discussions of incest and the actual limited occurrence of mother–son incest, particularly compared to father–daughter incest. 3 The disparity between the statistics on mother–son incest compared to those on other incestuous relationships is accounted for in biological terms by the genetic

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

potential for unravelling society (in a way that renders father figures both obsolete and unnecessary) causes sibling desire to be treated as, perhaps, the most dangerous and complicated of all the incestuous relationships represented in the Gothic. The destruction of patriarchal society is effected through the dissolution of social growth into a condition of familial stasis that, unlike father–daughter incest

in Gothic incest
Open Access (free)
Thefts, violence and sexual threats
Jenny DiPlacidi

embedded in sexual language and meaning. 2 Incestuous relationships between uncles and nieces abound in Gothic fiction; in fact, even in novels where the primary incestuous focus is on a different consanguineal bond, there is often still an uncle in the background, his presence being part of the plot construction that drives persecution and usurpation. Susan Staves refers to the laws regarding married

in Gothic incest
Open Access (free)
Lucy Munro

, and sway in love, That have inflamed desire in my breast To taste the fruit of yon celestial tree Or die in the adventure, be my helps[.] (1.62–65) Pericles’s image is relatively conventional in the context of courtship, but the presentation of sexual desire as appetite becomes increasingly disturbing as the scene progresses. The incestuous relationship between Antiochus and his daughter – of which the audience are forewarned – is made clear to Pericles through images of consumption. The opening of the daughter’s riddle reads, ‘I am no viper, yet I feed | On mother

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660
Open Access (free)
Cousins and the changing status of family
Jenny DiPlacidi

passions, cousin relationships occupy a curious space in which the incestuous nature of the bond is at once diminished and heightened by its relative acceptance by both English society and the law. Cousin marriages may be more permissible than other relationships between blood kin because the consanguineal tie, in terms of shared genetic material, is weaker than those between the more taboo incestuous relationships

in Gothic incest