There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than
the risk it took to blossom.Anaïs Nin (1903-1977) writer.
March 19, 2009 4:06 AM
' We dont see things as they are we see them as we are."
Anaïs Nin IPA: [ana'iːs nin] (born Angela
Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell) (February 21, 1903 - January 14, 1977) was a Catalan-Cuban-French author who became famous for her
published journals, which span more than
60 years, beginning when she was 11 years old and ending shortly before her
death. Nin is also famous for her erotica.
On 3 March 1923, in Havana, Cuba, she married
her first husband, Hugh Parker Guiler
(1898-1985), a banker and artist, later known as "Ian Hugo" when he became a
filmmaker of experimental films in
the late 1940s. The couple moved to Paris the following year, where
Guiler pursued his banking career and Nin began to
pursue her interest in writing. Her first published work was a critical
evaluation of D. H. Lawrence called D.
H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study. She also explored the field of psychotherapy, studying
under the likes of Otto Rank, a disciple of Sigmund
According to her diaries,Volume One, 1931 - 1934, Nin shared a bohemian lifestyle with Henry Miller during her time in Paris. There is no mention of her husband in that edited edition. In 1939, Nin and Hugh Parker Guiler moved back to New York City. Nin appeared in the Kenneth Anger film Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954) as Astarte, the Maya Deren film Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946), and in Bells of Atlantis (1952), a film directed by Guiler under the name "Ian Hugo" with a soundtrack of electronic music by Louis and Bebe Barron.
In 1947, at the age of 44, she met and began living with Rupert Pole (1919-2006), sixteen years her junior. On 17 March 1955, she married him at Quartzsite, Arizona, returning with Pole to live in California. Guiler remained in New York City and was unaware of Nin's second marriage until after her death in 1977.
Nin often cited authors Djuna Barnes and D. H. Lawrence as inspirations. She states in Volume One of her diaries that she and Henry Miller drew inspiration from Marcel Proust, André Gide, Jean Cocteau, Paul Valéry, and Arthur Rimbaud.
Anaïs Nin is perhaps best remembered as a diarist. Her journals, which span several decades, provide a deeply explorative insight into her personal life and relationships. Nin was acquainted, often quite intimately, with a number of prominent authors, artists, psychoanalysts, and other figures, and wrote of them often, especially Otto Rank. Moreover, as a female author describing a primarily masculine constellation of celebrities, Nin's journals have acquired importance as a counterbalancing perspective.
Nin is hailed by many critics as one of the finest writers of female erotica. She was one of the first women to explore fully the realm of erotic writing, and certainly the first prominent woman in modern Europe to write erotica. Before her, erotica written by women was rare, with a few notable exceptions, such as the work of Kate Chopin.
According to Volume I of her diaries, 1931-1934, published in 1966 (Stuhlmann), Nin first came across erotica when she returned to Paris with her mother and two brothers in her late teens. They rented the apartment of an American man who was away for the summer, and Nin came across a number of French paperbacks: "One by one, I read these books, which were completely new to me. I had never read erotic literature in America… They overwhelmed me. I was innocent before I read them, but by the time I had read them all, there was nothing I did not know about sexual exploits… I had my degree in erotic lore."
Faced with a desperate need for money, Nin and Miller began in the 1940s to write erotic and pornographic narratives for an anonymous "collector" for a dollar a page, somewhat as a joke. Nin considered the characters in her erotica to be extreme caricatures and never intended the work to be published, but changed her mind in the early 1970s and allowed them to be published as Delta of Venus and Little Birds.
Nin was a friend, and in some cases lover, of many leading literary figures, including Henry Miller, Antonin Artaud, Edmund Wilson, Gore Vidal, James Agee, and Lawrence Durrell. Her passionate love affair and friendship with Miller strongly influenced her both as a woman and an author. The rumor that Nin was bisexual was given added circulation by the Philip Kaufman film Henry & June. Although this rumor is widely believed to be false, Nin's journals leave many questions about her relationship with Henry Miller's wife, June. In her unexpurgated journals, she wrote that she had an incestuous relationship with her father, and refers to experiments with beastiality, and sexual relationships and experiences with women.
D. H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study
Winter of Artifice
Under a Glass Bell
House of Incest
Delta of Venus
Cities of the Interior, in five volumes:
Ladders to Fire
Children of the Albatross
The Four-Chambered Heart
A Spy in the House of Love
Seduction of the Minotaur
The Diary of Anaïs Nin (7 volumes)
The Early Diary of Anaïs Nin (4 volumes)
The Novel of the Future
In Favor of the Sensitive Man
Henry and June
Nearer the Moon