Exploring Gender Roles and Sigmund Freud’s Taboo in the Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin
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This Master's thesis explores Anais Nin's controversial first unexpurgated diary, titled Henry & June. The thesis explores the ways in which the diary has been an influential literary space of self-representation for women writers, both as a platform of self-fashioning and as a safe space for exploring taboo topics. This thesis explores various taboo notions such as lesbian desire, queerness, non-monogamous relationships, female sexuality, incest, the fragmented self, and childhood trauma. Sigmund Freud's notions of the taboo and pscyhoanalysis, as defined in Totem and Taboo (1913), act as a theoretical framework within this thesis. While the diary has historically received less critical attention than other life-writing genres such as the autobiography, this thesis proposes that the diary can act as a feminist literary space in which conventional gender roles can be challenged through writing, the self can be explored, and taboo topics can be addressed.