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Document Details :
Title: De representatie van het moederschap in verlichte opvoedkunde en duistere gotiek.
Subtitle: Een confrontatie tussen Benjamin Spock en Renate Dorrestein
Author(s): BUIKEMA, Rosemarie , WESSELING, Lies
Journal: Spiegel der Letteren
Volume: 42 Issue: 2 Date: 2000
This article inquires into two gothic novels by Renate Dorrestein, namely Ontaarde moeders (Perverse mothers) and Een hart van steen (A Heart of Stone), paying special attention to the motif of the house which always plays a prominent role in gothic fiction, and the representation of motherhood. We argue that Dorrestein criticizes enlightened, scientifically based approaches to the raising of children, especially the so-called «fun morality» of Benjamin Spock and Penelope Leach. Dorrestein foregrounds the dark sides of family life, focusing on the problematic sides of the mother-daughter relationship. We argue that Dorresteins representation of motherhood is in keeping with Freuds views on the matter, which is not so surprising, considering the fact that the gothic novel formed an important source of inspiration for Freud. Dorresteins novels make Spocks domestication of the darker sides of Freuds thought undone.