2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

Feminist Smut: A Study of Anais Nin's Erotica
Angela M. Carter
Dr. Christine Harker, Faculty Mentor

Anaïs Nin's diaries are hailed for their insight into women's sexuality. Still, similar elements within her erotica, Little Birds and Delta of Venus have been overlooked. Nin prefaces the collection saying it presents sexuality from "a woman's point of view," yet her female characters seem alarmingly coherent with patriarchal stereotypes. They are either excessively licentious or self-consciously passive. This dichotomy has lead scholars to see Nin's erotica as misogynistic. However, it is through this troublesome dichotomy that Nin is able to explore the specific complexities of female sexuality. Furthermore, by writing from what she saw as a woman's perspective, Nin was able to advocate persistently for sexual self-awareness. Thus no embarrassment to her legacy, Nin's erotica too has a place in the feminist literary canon.

Keywords: sexuality, feminism , women's liberation, literature, erotica


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 49-3
Location: OP 2113
Time: 3:15

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