Photo By: Gianni Truvianni
I would like to thank and to some extent even dedicate this book to Susan Karolewski and Patrick Stuebing from Leipzig, Germany. As it was they who through their relationship with each other which I came to here about on CNN last year that I got the inspiration to write this book which I have entitled “Love Your Sister; A Marriage of Incest”. Many may already be informed of who Susan and Patrick are but for those who are not I will tell them that they are a man and woman who defied all for the love they held for one another that pushed them to be together and have children despite their being brother and sister.
It is in this section that I would also like to clarify that though the story and characters in my book are inspired by Susan and Patrick the story itself was not taken directly from their lives. My characters Els and Michael contrary to Susan and Patrick were kept apart till the ages of twenty one and thirty not because of adoption (as was the case with Patrick) but the fact that Michael’s mother who was not Els’s hid Michael’s birth from his father who happened to be Els’s father as well till Michael was thirty and Els was twenty one.
In this segment I would also like to both show my gratitude and appreciation to Steven Sharpe who gave me my start in writing when he published my first story back in February of 2007 on his website www.articleland.co.uk. Steven Sharpe for those who have not read about him on the internet is from Cardiff, Wales and is also a very capable website administrator who saw that my writing had something that perhaps was worthwhile. It is with this in mind that I recommend him and his website to any writer wishing to publish his work on the internet or to any reader wishing to just get a hold of an article or two of value.
The title of my newest and second book is “Love Your Sister”; the idea of which came to me from a story I heard on CNN approximately a year ago concerning Susan Karolewski and Patrick Stueing; who by virtue of being brother and sister to each other were being forced to battle in courts of law for their right to be legally declared husband and wife. Incestuous was their relationship which had already seen this young lady bear four children to her brother.
For some reason I must confess this CNN report caught my attention to the point where I started while waiting to hear the rest of the story to conjure up theories of my own after having heard the headline of how such a thing might have come about. Many were the ideas that came to mind however it seemed to me that what was mostly like to have contributed to something of sort would have been that this couple in question might not have met one another till they were beyond that age that develops a “normal” sibling relation. This late first encounter naturally resulting in the two of them not having spent their infancies together and by virtue of which did not have a chance to grow up together in an environment that would have developed the typical brother sister correlation.
As I saw the report it only served to confirm that my theory had been correct as this was precisely how it came about that a man and woman who were brother and sister came to fall in love as opposed to growing to love one another as is the case with most who find themselves in a sibling relationship. Having met ones brother or sister at a late age may not excuse incest as would “ignorance” meaning being unaware at the time that a connection of the sort existed however it might be considered as a mitigating circumstance and guide some to be less harsh in their judgment.
Perhaps to many who read my book or who heard the report on CNN; stories of this sort weather they be factual or otherwise would classify as deviant to say the least. However to those whose ideas lead them to such conclusions I will not deny them their right to do so but I would urge them to consider the circumstances that led this German couple (who inspired my book) to develop sexual urges which biologically speaking they shouldn’t have; before they reach a verdict.
There is the opinion that today’s morality is more relaxed then it was in days of old but I however would not agree against this on two accounts. I arguing that is not morality that is more relaxed but the law with regard to it. My cause for believing so would follow the fact that many activities which today give cause for some to classify as immoral were the same as they were several centuries ago however these activities which are still frowned upon from a moral point of view can no longer be punished from a legal point of view with prison or worse. An example of this being pornography which in the mind of many has not become more acceptable then it was to those who lived a hundred years ago even though most countries have ceased to legally condemn those involved with its production or distribution save it be of the sort that involves infants.
My second argument against this line would be that to a large extent morality has changed by this I do not always refer to those cases where what was not acceptable now is but the reverse; where what used to be acceptable in the past is not acceptable anymore. As an example of this I can give how there was a time when a marriage between couple in which neither the man nor the woman had passed the age of 15 was acceptable as opposed to today where it would not be. Incest is another case where morals have become less tolerant rather then more as there was a time when such doings were tolerated in certain cases that included Royal families or families of extreme wealth who wanted to have descendents while at the same time safeguarding their assets from winding up in the hands of outsiders.
As a personal comment I would like to add that I believe that it is not morality so much that leads most people to condemn incest but the knowledge we have today that we did not have in centuries past concerning the dangers that can arise as a result of which to those who may be born from such liaisons. Incest however is in some cases not always clear for instance father/daughter or mother/son or sister/brother are but what of when the case is first cousins who share parents who are brother and sister? Does this present danger as well? There are those who say it does but less of one however this being a question of discretion. How much danger or what chances of it are acceptable? If brother and sister from the same parents is not then what of brother and sister who are only half brother and sister from only one parent? Would this be an acceptable risk genetically speaking as it is an acceptable one from the legal point of view in the case of first cousins with second cousins not even being put in doubt. Getting however back to the report I heard on CNN I was surprised I must admit to find out that incest is not illegal in most European Union countries; I would imagine at least as far as consenting adults is concerned.
I however would like to point out that when we use the term “incest” that we do so appropriately and not in cases where it has no right to be present as this like many other words or classifications such as “rape” or “murder” is a very strong one. What I have in mind by saying this is the circumstances that surrounded actor/director Woody Allen who engaged in a romantic affair with one of his adopted daughters who had no genetic connection with him what so ever. It is not that I am a fan or supporter of this actor/director in any way however if we are to call things but what they are then let us do so with regards to the facts and not merely for the sake of condemning. It is this instant where knowledge of what is spoken is more then useful in not condemning unjustly as we should always bear in mind that incest is limited to sexual relationships between those whose genes are the same.
With regards to history their have been many cases of incest through out the entire world with arguably the most notable case being the one of Cleopatra VII (whose name meant “greatness of her father”) who married her younger brother, Ptolemy XIII so they might rule Egypt jointly. As for what historical knowledge has confirmed about Cleopatra’s first marriage this to some extent is obscure however it is widely held as fact that this union was consummated. Cleopatra’s incestuous affairs however went beyond her first marriage and in to her second marriage which was between her and her also younger brother Ptolemy XIV, though if the topic be this second marriage even less is known. This second marriage by Cleopatra for all intensive purposes might have included copulating but this is unknown as is weather or not Cleopatra herself had any dealings in his death.
With regards to fiction weather it be of the written sort or any other there are also appear many cases with the most commonly referred to being the one of Oedipus who in a very strange twist of fate ended up unknowingly marrying his own mother after having also with the same lack of knowledge killed his own father. Perhaps it is this Greek tragedy which is the most famous account of incest in fiction though not the only one as Richard Wagner also makes use of this theme in his cycle of operas which is often referred to as “The Ring”. The Ring comprising four operas; the second of which is entitled “Die Walkire”. It is this opera which depicts the birth of the dragon slaying hero; Siegfried from an incestuous relationship between Siglinde and Sigmund who happen to be the progeny of Wanton (chief of the gods) and an earthly woman.
If the subject be incest in more modern day fiction then I would make reference first to the film “Hotel New Hampshire” in which Jodi Foster and Rob Lowe play a brother and a sister who knowingly engage in sexual intercourse which though not serving to reproduce does qualify as incest. As for a more recent example I can make reference to “Kika”; the 1993 film by Pedro Almodovar (one of my all time favorite directors) in which we hear a lesbian claim to have had intercourse with her oversexed brother in order to keep him from violating the neighbors. In fiction it can even be seen in lighter films. Some of which are shown to much younger audiences such as “The Empire Strikes Back” (from the “Star Wars” series by George Lucas) in which princes Leia and Luke Skywalker warmly kiss on the mouth while not being aware at the time that they are brother and sister.
Sports is also a place that has not been excluded from this sort of relationship. It being rumored that one of the greatest Brazilian football players of all time; Garrincha was a product of his mother being raped by her own father which would have made her also be a sister to him.
The bible is also not without its tale of incest which can be found in the old testament in the part that describes what happened to Lot and his daughters after having escaped the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra. There in this part of the old testament we see that Lot’s daughters both yearned to have children of their own and with no other men in sight other then their father and with their bodies both getting old they connived a scheme. First they got their father inebriated with the older daughter taking her turn in using her father to impregnate herself and given the success of their plan it was repeated the following night so the younger daughter might achieve the same goal as her older sister had the previous night.
In both cases their acts of fornication lead to pregnancies and it was with great wrath from God that the actions of Lot’s daughters along with Lot himself were met though Lot to a lesser degree because he was basically an unwilling participant in the whole affair. I of course not believing anything or anybody to be above question ask if God was fair in his castigation? Should he not have considered that Lot’s daughters resorted to incest not only because they wished to have children of their own but because they; of coarse wrongly believed at the time that the two of them and their father were the only human beings left on earth. It is fundamentally due to this errant concept which their minds had created based on seeing so much destruction and death that lead them to a false conclusion that by logic would have required them to do what they eventually did if the human race were to survive.
However if the bible be the case I also ask those whose interpretation of it be literal; if God made Adam and Eve and they were at one point the only two human beings on earth would not the associations which subsequently took place between their children that lead to the rest of humanity being born have had to have been incestuous?
As for my book “Love Your Sister”; it focuses on a couple who due to circumstances beyond their control do not meet each other for the first time till both are past the age of 20. This age being late in life for them to have met each other for the first time contributes to them finding love in a sexual way that leads to Els becoming impregnated by her brother; Michael. When referring to Els and Michael, one could really say that it was not having that sort of background that comes as a result of having spent ones developing years together that made their relationship possible not perversion like some might gather.
As an after thought one could speculate what would have happened if these two had not been brother and sister but had grown up as such due to one of the them being adopted? Could their have been less possibility for a sexual relationship to develop as psychologically speaking they would hold in them the emotions of brother and sister without its bond of blood? This concept though perhaps interesting does not find itself in my book and neither does the following. What would the average married person do if he or she found out that through one of life’s many oddities that the person they married was in fact their brother or sister? They could use the shield of ignorance saying it was that which lead them to marry that person in the first place however this would no longer apply if they found out. This bringing my point what would they do?
In conclusion I would like one thing to be made clear which I feel is of the essence and that being that I do not support incestuous relations in any way, shape or form for I also am a father who has a daughter and though I do not have a son I can assure those who read this that the last thing I would want would be for my children to partake in this sort of affair! I however though not indulging would try to be understanding if extreme circumstances like the ones in my book brought it about and under no circumstances would I find blame in those children who come as a result of which. Therefore I would like to state that it is not with the intent of promoting incest that I wrote this book but with the one that seeks to increase people’s understanding and maybe tolerance as to how something of the sort could have come about between two people who were basically normal.