Diary Entry

October Anniversaries, encore

Naomi Schor

October 10 is my friend Naomi Schor’s birthday. She would have turned 80 this year.

Naomi’s Breaking the Chain: Women, Theory, and French Realist Fiction was one of the first books published in the Gender and Culture series Carolyn Heilbrun and I co-edited at Columbia University Press, in 1985. In the chapter titled “Female Paranoia,” Naomi boldly made a claim for a new form of feminist literary theory. As distinct from believers in metaphors of vaginal theory like Julia Kristeva, Naomi’s variant would feature the clitoris: “the clitoral school of feminist criticism,” she wrote, and whose rhetorical “figure” is “synecdoche, the detail-figure.”

It feels vivifying to remember the panache of feminist theory in the ’80s and Naomi’s fearless thinking as part of it. I had post-its attached to the pages in which her argument appears.

Nancy K. Miller. Diary

Welcome. Some musings on my current preoccupations with the worlds of illness and the worlds of books, the vicissitudes of living with cancer and the need now, in my eighties, to imagine what new writing might be. 

View Diary posts related to the My Multifocal Life project.