In Ivan Cankar's novels Na klancu (On the Slope) and Hiša Marije Pomočnice (The Ward of Our Lady of Mercy) many kinds of love appear - in the latter work less often and in more subversive forms. In both texts the child's love and maternal love are central, but in the first it is presented traditionally, within a realistic-symbolic framework and in a context of social fatalism, whereas in the second the purism, altruism and saintliness of Na klancu gives way to sexualisation, which is used to demythify childhood and motherhood. In both novels the aesthetic sources are similar, arising from the division between the material and the spiritual, or the longing that is usually directed against hope and/or death. The main character in each (Francka and Malči) is partially based on the figure of the femme fragile, but decorative l'art pour l'artism is avoided and the character imbued with moral and aesthetic strength. The first novel offers an innovatively different (non-bourgeois) concept of love, woman as an autonomous being and the main literary character, as well as the fluidity of the child's and maternal love, whereas the second shows extra-marital, autoerotic, lesbian, platonic and spiritual love, plus voyeurism, paedophilia, incest and various kinds of sexual abuse.