chapter  2
16 Pages

The Book of Lilith

The story of Lilith, Adam’s first wife, notably absent from the Bible in its canonical form, is an alternative story of humanity’s originsanother, purportedly earlier, version of the creation. My Lilith is not about the genesis of the female superhero, but rather about my own history as her commentator. It begins with my first attempt at comic book criticism, a short piece called “Looking for Wonder Woman,” solicited by and published in Artforum in 1989, and continues through my reflections on the article. The piece draws on my own experience as a reader, reaching as far back as the last weeks of World War II, and narrating the history of this particular reader as a way into the history of what she was reading. I accepted the Artforum commission because I thought it would be fun. It was, and the origins of the present project lie as much in that pleasure as in my growing sense of the topic’s importance to cultural studies.