May 18, 2022
From Virginia Woolf to Torrey Peters, authors have long been fascinated by the ways we navigate gender and relationships
Writer and historian Morgan M Page recently explained to me that the oldest surviving work by a known author is The Exaltation of Inanna, written by Enheduanna more than 4,000 years ago. Enheduanna was a Mesopotamian Gala priestess, someone assigned male at birth who lived as a woman in service of the goddess Inanna. Her poetry influenced both the Hebrew psalms and Homeric Hymns. “To turn a man into a woman and a woman into a man are yours, Inana. Desirability and arousal, goods and property are yours, Inana,” is perhaps her most famous line.
I consider the poetry itself an unfolding love story, shared at first between the writer and her goddess, and now by scholars and those of us seeking to place our obscured selves in history. Continue reading...