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The Female Angst, Part 1: Anaïs Nin

In 1972, KPFK radio producer Sally Davis hosted and produced a program that she affectionately called “The Female Angst.” Consistent with the era's second wave feminist movement, Davis sought to explore the “pain” that women encounter within the private realm, in juxtaposition to the public campaign to liberate women. Toward this effort, she invited writers Anaïs Nin, Joan Didion, and songwriter Dory Previn, to discuss their creative lives.

This segment features the opening interview between Nin and Davis with musical selections from Dory Previn. Nin, nearly 70 years old, reflects on her days as a young, budding writer in France and New York in the midst of the Second World War. She discusses her insecurities about her creativity, but credits her neurosis as the brute force that kept her working, writing, and loving.

The writer highlights the guilt that one carries as a creator, referencing her contemporaries Antonin Artaud and Sylvia Plath as examples of artists who have dealt with fulfillment, or lack there of, in drastically different ways. Nin sees artistic creation as an aggressive act, and one commonly associated with masculinity, therein establishing a tension for the female writer.

In these programs you will hear several songs by Dory Previn, including Twenty Mile Zone from On My Way to Where and The New Enzyme Detergent Demise of Ali McGraw from Reflections in a Mud Puddle.

Editor's Note: These recordings decayed badly during 40 years of storage and we have removed or replaced some portions that were beyond repair.


Historic Audio from the Archives of Charles Ruas


An unparalleled collection of recovered and restored programs from the seventies produced by Charles Ruas, and featuring Allen Ginsberg, John Giorno, Anaïs Nin, William Boroughs, Buckminster Fuller, Sylvia Plath, Pablo Neruda, and Jorge Luis Borges, among numerous others.