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The goal of this essay then, will be to explore what I see as the textured and ambiguous space between what the show itself implies, and what the slash fan-fiction makes explicit.

In doing so, I will analyze some key moments from (Eric Kripke, WB Network, 2005–present).

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Feminist analyses have generally labeled this as the exchange of mothers and daughters, but if we can just un-moor incest for a moment from the field of exclusive reproductive heterosexuality, it might equally apply to brothers and sons.

, Ryan Atwood becomes the outsider who disrupts the incestuous community of Newport, but he also becomes the object (or subject) of queer incest, a kind of loving twin to Seth Cohen.

They are not precisely his foster-family, and not his adoptive parents, either. But, as I have asked before, who exactly Ryan to Seth?

When Ryan leaves at the end of Season One, Seth also abandons Newport, claiming that he can’t bear it without Ryan. Sandy actually has to send Ryan after Seth, like an erotic courier, and Ryan’s arrival in Oregon (where Seth is staying with, of all people, Luke’s gay dad , is what actually forces Seth to return home.

I am approaching the topic of same-sex incest from both a psychoanalytic and textual studies methodology, using dialogue from specific episodes as well as excerpts from fan-produced narratives in order to position as a unique case study for critical queer analysis.

The show begins with the arrival of Ryan Atwood into the wealthy bubble community of Newport in Orange County, California.

He is first described jokingly as “the cousin from Boston,” (1.01) then he and Seth become “like brothers,” or “almost brothers,” but the exact nature of their paternity is never quite ironed out.

What this has to do with Ryan, specifically, is something that I hope to make clear by citing some of the incestuous fanfic written about him.

Many fans would argue that incest, in fact, has nothing to do with Seth and Ryan’s relationship, since they aren’t bound by the laws of consanguinity – they aren’t brothers by blood, or even by law. He is the changeling, the outsider-child who turns Newport upside down upon his arrival, whose very © Fox Network, 2004.

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