Anais Nin - Life Stories, Books, and Links
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Stories about Anais Nin

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Picture of Anais Nin, twentieth century American diarist
Anais Nin   (1903 - 1977)
Category:  French Literature
Born:  February 21, 1903
Neuilly, France
Died:  January 14, 1977
Los Angeles, California, United States
Related authors:
Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrell
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1/14/1977     The Diary/Liary of Anais Nin
Although her pornography is praised as among the best female writing in the genre, Anais Nin's most remarkable creation, apart from her life, is her diary -- some of those in it call it a "Liary." This began when Nin was twelve and continued for over forty years -- sixty-nine handwritten volumes, so revealing and explosive even as half-truths that she kept it hidden from all her men.
6/7/1977     Nin, Miller, Venus
On this day in 1977, Anais Nin's Delta of Venus was posthumously published; also on this day in 1980, Henry Miller died. Delta of Venus was originally written as Nin's contribution to the dollar-a-page pornography that she, Miller and others contracted to write for an anonymous client in the 1940s, although Miller soon gave the job up. His Venus came later -- less posthumous, and about as real.
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Delta of Venus
Little Birds
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Anais Nin
by Deirdre Bair
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Anais Nin
A fan site created by women who met and were influenced by Nin. Offers summaries and excerpts from the diaries, Celebration with Anais Nin and Stars in My Sky. Also features personal recollections from those who knew the famous diarist. Nin in Celebration:

"Sharing the Diary was a risk. You may not believe that the dream I had was a nightmare but before publication I dreamed that I opened my front door and that I was struck by fatal radiation. That's how afraid I was. So you see, fear is there. The fear is in all of us and it is this fear we have to dispel. In friendship we realize that as human beings we are afraid to share, we are afraid to be criticized, we are afraid to be misunderstood, we are afraid not to be loved. This comes from childhood, from the teacher, from way back--I don't want to go as far back as we have to go to find out the origin of the fear. But women were very cowed with this fear. Their confidence was very much dependent on with whom they lived. I've seen women ask like children, 'is this good?' They take their reflection in others. It is this confidence that the Diary may have given you because it does show the weak moments, it shows the anxieties, the retrogressions, how often I was blocked in my work or fearful, how often I depended on the opinion of others."
Anais Nin Homepage
A fan site offers a brief biography, bibliography, excerpts from the diary, books, and correspondence, and profiles of important people in the writer's life, including Henry Miller, Dr. René Félix Allendy, Hugh (Hugo) Parker Guiler, Gonzalo Moré, and Dr. Otto Rank.

"From being a cult figure of the early feminist movement, Anais later rose to international prominence with her writing. She is best known for her diaries but also produced a number of novels and a prose poem in surrealistic style as well as wonderful erotic short stories, published posthumously. Characterized by the use of powerful and, at times, disquieting imagery, her work reveals great sensitivity and perception."
Anais: Writer or Perfume?
An article in which artist Judy Chicago examines Nin's troubled reputation, the diarist's connection to the feminist movement, and the importance of Nin's diaries:

"As to the diaries, I found them riveting; primarily because I had never before read such honesty in a woman's writing. (How ironic that Anaïs should later be accused of lies.) Perhaps it is because I straddle the generation between hers and the younger women like Pierpont, who are so critical of her, that despite the editing and re-editing of the diaries, I could recognize Nin's words as giving voice to the experiences of countless women, myself included. I guess young women cannot even begin to imagine what life was like for us, when there was no information about women's history and no theory to explain gender relations or to unearth sexist assumptions, much less the permission to challenge them openly. There was absolutely no possibility of telling men the truth about ourselves-—or about our perceptions of them—-as males were thought to be too fragile for such disclosures. To be truly honest was to risk committing the greatest of sins, to become the castrating woman, undercutting the 'precious male ego,' which, according to prevailing mythology, had to be coddled, protected and nurtured at all times."
Henry Miller, Anais Nin, Frank Harris
Find a review of Gunther Stuhlman's Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin & Henry Miller 1932-1953, with comments on the lives and literary reputations of both writers.

"Reading Miller's correspondence with his economic mentor, friend, fellow writer, and lover, we are privy to previously unpublished disclosures of intimacy and compassion, including moments that sometimes border on the electric."
Naked Brunch: Woman as Seducer
Offers details of Nin's sexual relations, erotic literature, and the author's changing societal status from courtesan to pioneer of the woman's movement.

"She might be called the female Casanova, but her work also has touches of the unknown Victorian gentleman who wrote My Secret Life, late in the 19th Century. From a shy and easily hurt girl, Nin developed a unique ability to pick up male partners of all ages and types wherever she went and even as she aged. She was a courtesan in Paris, a goddess to a group of gay artists, the center of a literary coterie in New York, and ultimately in her Los Angles period ended up a guru of the women's movement. Erica Jong has written that no writer has told the 'story of woman's sexuality more honestly' than Nin."
Salon: Anais Nin Reads
Find a introduction to the diarist's life, and a six minute 1972 audio recording of Nin reading from her diaries.

"For many years the name Anaïs Nin has been associated with the avant-garde and the literary underground. She's also known for her turbulent personal life and her affair with novelist Henry Miller. It wasn't until the liberated 1960s that she became widely recognized as a daring and innovative artist. Her work, at once familiar and exotic, is today considered among the most important literary achievements of the twentieth-century."
Note: audio recording may no longer be available.
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March 17, 2018
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