Eleven Decades of Anaïs Nin

Anaïs Nin was an American born to Hispanic/Cuban parents in France on February 21, 1903. Although we associate the author with Paris, she spent most of her life living in the U.S.

A writer of essays, short stories and novels, Nin’s literary triumph was the publication of her diaries which chronicled more than six decades of experiences. Nin carried on a famous affair with author Henry Miller and it was during her time with him that the pair both started writing erotica to make ends meet. In the Paris of the 1930′s, enterprising publishers cultivated collectors of forbidden writing and paid authors well and quickly for custom-crafted smut. Nin was a pioneer as one of the first women to ply the dirty book trade and she eventually let the works be collected and published widely under the titles Delta of Venus and Little Birds. She’s considered to be among the best writers of the female sexual experience.

Along with Miller, Nin became a counterculture hero during the unrest of the 1960′s. While Miller championed freedom of libido in his writing and fought for free of speech in his battles against censorship, Nin was perceived as the kind of strong, talented, liberated woman that the just-budding feminist movement was still trying to articulate. While she became a popular lecturer at universities, Nin never became involved in radical politics. It seemed she was always a lover more than a fighter. Nin died of cancer in 1977.

Here is the woman herself as she appeared in Kenneth Anger’s The Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome in 1954

Stay Awake!

Joe Nolan

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  • OtherWorldly1

    She was extremely insightful and had a poet’s grasp of language. She had a lot of great quotes, but here’s one you may not see as often as others:

    You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world,
    and you believe you are living. Then you read a book, or you take a
    trip, or you talk with someone special, and you discover that you are
    not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are
    easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when
    hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence
    of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness.
    Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this)
    without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic
    with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment
    takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves
    them from death.

    • http://profiles.google.com/joe.e.nolan Joe Nolan

      wow! A great quote. That could have easily come from Henry Miller when he talked about The Air Conditioned Nightmare. Thanks for such a great response. Nin is fundamental for the revolution. Her writing is so tough and tender that it opens into a space that represents total liberation – sexual, racial and human. Good on you OtherWorldly1. Thanks for your response.

    • http://profiles.google.com/joe.e.nolan Joe Nolan

      wow! A great quote. That could have easily come from Henry Miller when he talked about The Air Conditioned Nightmare. Thanks for such a great response. Nin is fundamental for the revolution. Her writing is so tough and tender that it opens into a space that represents total liberation – sexual, racial and human. Good on you OtherWorldly1. Thanks for your response.

  • IokSotot

    “Nin was perceived as the kind of strong, talented, liberated woman that the just-budding feminist movement was still trying to articulate.”

    Is it just me or is there a lot of what would be considered rape by the Swediah justice system in Nin’s books? Then there’s the cuckolding. The nymphomania and VD. And she just couldn’t bring herself to pop out a kid or two illustrating why those indoctrinated by *cough cough* patriarchy, will always be in the majority by default. Sort of exactly like the confused, alienating mess that is 21st century feminism.

    @ OtherWorldly1

    Thanks for the quote. It helped me awaken and make it to work on time. I have to work so the profits can support a nympho banker’s wife or two as she jets around the world partying and fucking exciting men. Im sure the single mums gutting fish for 12 hour shifts will also relate.

  • IokSotot

    “Nin was perceived as the kind of strong, talented, liberated woman that the just-budding feminist movement was still trying to articulate.”

    Is it just me or is there a lot of what would be considered rape by the Swediah justice system in Nin’s books? Then there’s the cuckolding. The nymphomania and VD. And she just couldn’t bring herself to pop out a kid or two illustrating why those indoctrinated by *cough cough* patriarchy, will always be in the majority by default. Sort of exactly like the confused, alienating mess that is 21st century feminism.

    @ OtherWorldly1

    Thanks for the quote. It helped me awaken and make it to work on time. I have to work so the profits can support a nympho banker’s wife or two as she jets around the world partying and fucking exciting men. Im sure the single mums gutting fish for 12 hour shifts will also relate.