Incest and the Literary Imagination

Incest and the Literary Imagination


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This wide-ranging collection tracks the contradictory roles of incest in Anglo-American literature, politics, and culture from the Middle Ages, a period Elizabeth Barnes states is considered unrivaled for its ""unblinking acceptance of many varieties of incest,"" to the present. Barnes explicates the role of incest in Anglo-American literature and culture, and in doing so sheds new light on the familiar story of incest as a vice of barbarians and a privilege of the elite. The essays range across a variety of methodological approaches - including psychoanalytic, cultural-historical, biographical, and queer theoretical.

About Author

Elizabeth Barnes is professor of English and American studies at the College of William and Mary.


Part I. The Royal Privilege of Incest 1. "Worse Than Bogery": Incest Stories in Middle English Literature, by Elizabeth Archibald 2. Incest and Authority in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, by Susan Frye 3. Sexual and Social Mobility in The Duchess of Malfi, by Frank Whigham 4. Incest and Class: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore and the Borgias, by Lisa Hopkins Part II. The Fall of the Fathers 5. The Ambivalence of Nature's Law: Representations of Incest in Dryden and His English Contemporaries, by T.G.A. Nelson 6. Natural and National Unions: Incest and Sympathy in the Early Republic, by Elizabeth Barnes 7. Temperance in the Bed of a Child: Incest and Social Order in Nineteenth-Century America, by Karen Sanchez-Eppler Part III. The Silence of the Daughters 8. Incest in the Story of Tancredi: Christine de Pizan's Poetics of Euphemism, by Elizabeth Allen 9. "Don't Say Such Foolish Things, Dear": Speaking Incest in The Voyage Out, by Jen Shelton 10. "Father, Don't You See I'm Burning?": Identification and Remembering in H.D.'s World War II Writing, by Madelyn Detloff Part IV. Incest in the House of Culture 11. Telling Fact from Fiction: Dorothy Allison's Disciplinary Stories, by Gillian Harkins 12. "Hereisthehouse": Cultural Spaces of Incest in The Bluest Eye, by Minrose C. Gwin 13. Sexual Trauma/Queer Memory: Incest, Lesbianism, and Therapeutic Culture, by Ann Cvetkovich 14. The New Face of Incest?: Race, Class, and the Controversy over Kathryn Harrison's The Kiss, by Mako Yoshikawa

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780813025407
  • Format: Hardback
  • ID: 9780813025407
  • ISBN10: 0813025400

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