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Looking for fictional intragenerational incest narratives.
March 25, 2008 6:30 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for fictional intragenerational incest narratives -- books, film, television, etc. -- in which the relationship is presented as a tragic love, doomed to failure. I'm not interested in the probably more common (and more realistic) pure trauma narratives. The relationship need not necessarily be physically consummated.

A few, as examples of what might count here: Geek Love, The House of Yes, The Royal Tennenbaums. Please, no intergenerational stories. That's gross.
posted by nobody to Media & Arts (49 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
White Horses by Alice Hoffman
posted by purpleclover at 6:38 PM on March 25, 2008


The Hotel New Hampshire and The Grifters come to mind.
posted by Addlepated at 6:39 PM on March 25, 2008


Sorry, I guess The Grifters is intergenerational isn't it? THNH isn't.
posted by Addlepated at 6:39 PM on March 25, 2008


Middlesex by Jeffrey-Eugenides
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 6:40 PM on March 25, 2008


Well, this is supposedly based on a true story but the Drive By Truckers' song "The Deeper In" may fit your criteria.
posted by padraigin at 6:45 PM on March 25, 2008


Daniel Handler (yes, aka Lemony Snicket) wrote a tragicomic novel called Watch Your Mouth in which the protagonist comes to realize that his girlfriend is having a sexual relationship with her father. Who's making a golem in the basement. It's a weird book.
posted by nicwolff at 6:54 PM on March 25, 2008


Check out Korean TV and film melodrama in general--it's a suprisingly common theme. For example, Winter Sonata.
posted by Tesseractive at 6:56 PM on March 25, 2008


The twin brother and sister in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.
posted by Airhen at 7:00 PM on March 25, 2008


Movies:
Thomas Vinterberg's Festen
If step-siblings count, Cruel Intentions

Books:
Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure
Ian McEwan's The Cement Garden
The V.C. Andrews incest classic Flowers in the Attic and its sequels, though those are more crazy than tragic (see also Dawn, which is not part of the series)
Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury

Television:
Boone and Shannon on Lost, again with the step-siblings
posted by ausdemfenster at 7:06 PM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Dreamers is an excellent one.
posted by DecemberRaine at 7:12 PM on March 25, 2008


Will Oldham's song Riding fits the bill. It's on two of his albums in different versions recorded under different names - There Is No-One What Will Take Care of You, recorded by Palace Brothers and Viva Last Blues recorded by Palace Music.
posted by bubukaba at 7:20 PM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


(Old School Spoiler Alert)





































Chinatown.

Great film, btw. And wasn't Roman Polanski weird?
posted by ZakDaddy at 7:25 PM on March 25, 2008


Kate Bush's The Kick Inside.
posted by Evangeline at 7:28 PM on March 25, 2008


The half-siblings from Sam Shepard's play Fool for Love.
posted by Evangeline at 7:30 PM on March 25, 2008


The Children of Hurin.
posted by alms at 7:34 PM on March 25, 2008


'Tis Pity She's a Whore
posted by phoenixy at 7:40 PM on March 25, 2008


George RR Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series (A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, ...) centrally features an incest plot (twins, natch) with just the characteristics that you're looking for.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:42 PM on March 25, 2008


One of my favorite Jacobean revenge tragedies, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore. I can't recommend the 1971 film adaptation, though.
posted by desuetude at 7:43 PM on March 25, 2008


Donna Tartt's The Secret History
posted by Cucurbit at 7:46 PM on March 25, 2008


Does George Michael's love for Maebe in Arrested Development count?
posted by snofoam at 7:53 PM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hopefully a link to an old House episode will prevent anyone from seeing spoilers they don't want: here.
posted by vytae at 7:56 PM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Robert Stone's story "Bear and his Daughter".
posted by tangerine at 7:58 PM on March 25, 2008


Oh, sorry, I missed that you said intragenerational.
posted by tangerine at 7:59 PM on March 25, 2008


The TV show Nip, Tuck had a storyline just recently that addressed this. Also...

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!











Devil's Advocate with Keanu Reeves.
posted by misha at 8:04 PM on March 25, 2008


This is a pretty big plot point in Oldboy.
posted by anansi at 8:11 PM on March 25, 2008


Kurt Vonnegut's Slapstick.
posted by churl at 8:15 PM on March 25, 2008


Angels and Insects by A.S. Byatt , specifically the first novella.

There is a movie as well.
posted by Violet Hour at 8:24 PM on March 25, 2008


Fists in Pocket.
posted by kickingtheground at 8:48 PM on March 25, 2008


Here it is in real life.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 10:02 PM on March 25, 2008


The fairy tale, Donkey Skin. It's a bizarre story that was made into an even more bizarre movie.
From the Wikipedia entry:
It is Aarne-Thompson folktale type 510B, the persecuted heroine. Others of this type include Cap O' Rushes, Catskin, Little Cat Skin, Allerleirauh, The King who Wished to Marry His Daughter, The She-Bear, Mossycoat, Tattercoats, The Princess That Wore A Rabbit-Skin Dress, and The Bear.
Words can't explain how odd this film is. (But I'll try: French, 70's, Trippy, Donkey that poops gold...)
posted by bodega at 10:18 PM on March 25, 2008


In case you haven't already thought of it, Star Wars.
posted by ignignokt at 10:48 PM on March 25, 2008


Man, which part of 'intergenerational' don't people understand?

GGM's 100 Years of Solitude fits. So does Francois Ozon's film Sitcom. Both of those are unusual, too, in that the older party is the woman/mother/aunt.
posted by rokusan at 11:18 PM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


60;spoiler-ish62;



It's not the primary plot line, and the two individuals involved are step-siblings but the film 'Teeth' fits the criteria.

60;/spoiler62;
posted by chara at 11:48 PM on March 25, 2008


River seems to have quite the thing for her brother Simon in Joss Whedon's "Firefly" series and its follow-up film "Serenity".
posted by Asparagirl at 11:59 PM on March 25, 2008


Can't believe we've got this many answers and no reference to Lone Star yet. For shame!
posted by zap rowsdower at 1:49 AM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


> Man, which part of 'intergenerational' don't people understand?

The asker is looking for intra-generational stories.
posted by churl at 2:27 AM on March 26, 2008


Octavia Butler wrote "Near of Kin", which can be found in Bloodchild and Other Stories. It's a departure from her typical science fiction, but it is a gentle heartfelt story that is probably just what you're looking for.
posted by Katemonkey at 3:40 AM on March 26, 2008


The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (also Arrested Development?)
posted by bluefly at 3:43 AM on March 26, 2008


Nabokov's Ada does for incest what Lolita did for pedophilia, in about 18 times as many words.
posted by a young man in spats at 5:45 AM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man, which part of 'intergenerational' don't people understand?
The asker is looking for intra-generational stories.

Oh, yeah, sure, as if I'm the idiot here!

oh wait. I am. sorry.
posted by rokusan at 7:02 AM on March 26, 2008


The Maias by Eça de Queiroz

Manfred by Byron

Les Enfants Terribles by Jean Cocteau
posted by lucia__is__dada at 7:32 AM on March 26, 2008


Crazy! I just finished The Thirteenth Tale last night! The incestuous relationship is downplayed and only confirmed at the very end, but it's there.
posted by handful of rain at 8:27 AM on March 26, 2008


If you don't mind very raunchy intergenerational and intragenerational incest side by side in a novel that apes conventional operatic form, complete with a cruise ship, a marauding golem, and suggestions for each character's singing register, Daniel "Lemony Snicket" Handler's Watch Your Mouth is both hilarious and tragic.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 10:20 AM on March 26, 2008


In 1991, before anyone knew who he was, Clive Owen was in a movie called Close My Eyes, along with Alan Rickman and Saskia Reeves. It's as tasteful and understated a depiction of brother-sister incest as can be imagined, I think. A well-done thing. Seek it out.
posted by cgc373 at 6:21 PM on March 26, 2008


Die Walküre.
posted by dfan at 8:29 AM on March 27, 2008


I think the Clive Barker book 'trilogy' of The Great and Secret Show and its sequel, Everville would qualify, as there is a recurring theme/struggle between (wait for it ... twins) Tommy Ray and Jo-Beth.
posted by Smoosh Faced Lion at 4:54 AM on March 29, 2008


The Lovers of the Arctic Circle, directed by Carlos Saura. Step-siblings, but otherwise fits your criteria perfectly.
posted by Awkward Philip at 5:30 PM on March 29, 2008


Sorry, that's Julio Medem, not Carlos Saura.
posted by Awkward Philip at 11:16 PM on March 29, 2008


Cormac McCarthy's Outer Dark.
posted by goatdog at 10:56 AM on April 26, 2008


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