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‘Murder, Incest and Damn Fine Coffee’: Twin Peaks as new incest narrative 20 years on

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Despite the vast amount of critical and academic literature on the television series Twin Peaks, relatively little attention has been paid to its narrative and, more particularly, its treatment of incest. Yet this is where the series remains truly unique, even 20 years later, a popular culture, commercial, network television series that takes incest as its central narrative thread. In analysing the intertextual relationships between media and literature, this article argues that Twin Peaks offers a new narrative of incest, actually advancing our understanding of this issue and contributing new ideas to the body of knowledge on incest. It reveals that incest occurs amongst the white middle-class, in relation to girls on the cusp of adulthood and explores the difficulties involved in giving incest victims a voice. In this way Twin Peaks continually recasts incest, linking it to broader and broader social formations, so incest moves from being a familial issue, to a societal issue, to, ultimately, an issue with modernity itself.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Swinburne University of Technology, Media Studies, Melbourne, Australia 2: Independent scholar

Publication date: 2012-08-01

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