Women & Writing

January 24, 1972-Northwestern University

This lecture opens up with Nin describing a Furrawn, “a kind of talk that leads to intimacy.” She reads a well known passage about her, Miller, and Durrell in Paris and how at the moment described she knew she had to go another way, “the woman’s way.” Nin then reports about the importance of relating and intimacy, logic and the nature of emotions. Nin discusses the first diary, Sei Shōnagon’s The Pillow Book. The lecure continues about the public’s unwillingness to accept the same quality in women’s writings that they accept from men. Nin states “The personal world of women, to some extent, saved her from this plague of alienation.” Nin lectures about women’s books that have come “too soon” and how the public was not ready for such books. She gives the names of authors and explains the books they have written. She tells of how DH Lawrence read his girlfriend’s diary to know her better and to discover the language of women’s feelings, emotions, and intuition. Nin expresses the need of language for women and how the diary shows the more she wrote the clearer she thought. “That finally by writing, I taught myself how to talk with others.” Nin stays focused on the topic of women and writing but also uses her speech to encourage women to write their inner lives. She relays a story about Zelda Fitzgerald and how Zelda relinquished the publication of her own diary after F. Scott stated he needed her diary for his writing material. Nin sees Zelda as giving up something (writing) that could have saved her. She asks the audience if they would like to ask questions now, to approach her afterward, or for her to read another passage. She ends by reading a passage about Cities of the Interior and the evolution of women finding her own language

This “summary” of the Anaïs Nin Audio Files was written by Steven Reigns.
Steven Reigns (www.stevenreigns.com ) is a poet, artist, and educator living in Los Angeles. A collector of Nin memorabilia and a latent Nin scholar, he has been interested in Nin since 1991.