(Re)Writing Anaïs Nin and Her Diaries

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Northeastern Modern Language Association
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41st Convention, NeMLA (April 7-11, 2010)

(Re)Writing Anaïs Nin and Her Diaries

You carry away with you a part of me reflected in you…
I am not different from you. I dreamed you, I wished for your existence.

Diary writing in general has a dynamic interplay between truth and fiction, self and other, subject and object. But matters are further complicated when the diarist writes over nineteen hundred pages, when the diarist publishes extractions years later, and when the diarist is female and has a background in psychoanalysis. Indeed, Anaïs Nin is one of the most prolific diarists to date. However, the many layers that exist within the diaries themselves (the originals as well as the unexpurgated) coupled with Nin's own obsessive and neurotic behaviors create tensions and abstractions within past scholarship.

Because of these layers, critics all too often fall back on examining Nin and the authenticity of her writings trying to make sense of the mass number of pages and the many discrepancies. For example, Suzanne Nalbantian's article titled "Aesthetic Lies" explains "[t]he struggle between the masquerade and the truth" as an aesthetical form, stating that it "eventually found its resolution in [Nin's] theory of fiction." But Nin and her diaries are more than a debate between truth and fiction, art and form.

This panel's aim is to further explore Nin, her diaries, and her need to write. Papers may interrogate past critics' claims; engage with recent (or unfamiliar) theories, lenses, and approaches; present interdisciplinary connections; or analyze specific portions of her journals—all in attempts to offer novel and insightful perspectives by (re)writing Nin and her (non)fiction.

Please send 250-500 word abstracts and one-page CV (as well as any questions) to Rachel N. Spear at rspear1@tigers.lsu.edu by Sept. 30, 2009, with your subject line as "2010 NeMLA Abstract." Submissions should include the following information: name, affiliation, email, postal address, telephone number, one-page CV, and A/V requirements (if any, note A/V has $10 handling fee).

The complete Call for Papers for the 2010 Convention will be posted in June: www.nemla.org.
Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA panel; however, panelists can only present one paper. Convention participants may present a paper at a panel or seminar and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.