The most taboo of perversions, necrophilia, is often incorporated into Decadent fiction as a theme testifying to the strength of a passion that defies corruption and endures everlastingly. In contrast to these elegiac celebrations of indestructible love, Rachilde's 1899 novel La Tour d'amour reintroduces the intense biological horror, the terrible sexual transgressivity of genuine necrophilia. Additionally, through a remarkable process of imaginary doubling, Rachilde uses her novel to stage a split in her authorial persona. Casting the helpless novice writer she was at the start of her career as the female corpse exploited by a pseudonymous male writer, she assumes the aggressive role in preying on her status as a victim. She thereby transforms herself into the necrophilic criminal whose violence is creatively reutilized as the shocking subjects of her books. (RZ)


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pp. 134-145
Launched on MUSE
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