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Incest in contemporary literature$
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Miles Leeson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526122162

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526122162.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 17 June 2021

Is posthuman incest possible? Science fiction and the futures of the body

Is posthuman incest possible? Science fiction and the futures of the body

(p.198) 9 Is posthuman incest possible? Science fiction and the futures of the body
Incest in contemporary literature

Alistair Brown

Manchester University Press

In evaluating the interplay of biological and social interpretations of the incest taboo, most literary commentaries have used fiction to show how notions of incest have changed historically through the variable of culture; in these accounts, the biological body remains a constant, whilst society adapts its parameters for what counts as incest. However, science fiction introduces material embodiment itself as a variable, as it hypothesises bodies that can be altered (e.g. through genetics) or even eliminated (e.g. through virtualising the mind via a computer). Through comparing three science fiction novels, this chapter evaluates whether such changing types of embodiment will also change the way in which society approaches the incest taboo, or even remove it entirely.

Keywords:   Post-human, Androids, Incest, Trauma, Wyndham, Artificial Intelligence

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