How Anais Nin Changed My Life and Love

Anais Nin Tribute by Originaldylan

I spent most of my twenties entwined with the life of Anais Nin. I had developed a craving for a thin novel with a gestural line drawing on the cover during my daily visits to a little off campus bookstore when I was in my last semester before graduation. I finally took possesion of Children of the Albatross the day finals were over. I ran to the little bookstore on Guadalupe Avenue, threw all my change on the counter, and walked out with my new best friend. I immediately began my transition from a "good girl" into a woman of substance. I conducted a long, vicarious, totally mental relationship with Anais Nin and felt myself to sip absinthe in Paris with Antonin Artaud, D.H. Lawrence, Henry and June Miller.

As I transitioned into life in New York City, I patterned my activities and interactions on the events of the ongoing characters in her short novels of Cities of the Interior. From twenty five into my thirties, I woke up, drank coffee, rode the subway, ate lunch and dinner and traveled abroad with volume after volume of The Diary of Anaise Nin.

I have to say, this memoire is incomplete. I need to scour my journals of my early days as an adult when I used to sit in cafés writing to myself, wondering what Anais would have thought about what I was thinking. Please return as I add more and more about this author who helped to form me.

Selected Works by Anaïs Nin

Selected works:

  • D.H. LAWRENCE. AN UNPROFESSIONAL STUDY, 1932
  • HOUSE OF INCEST, 1936
  • ed.: TWICE A YEAR, 1938
  • WINTER OF ARTIFICE 1939
  • UNDER A GLASS BELL, 1944
  • LADDERS TO FIRE, 1946 (Cities of the Interior series) - Portaat tuleen
  • ON WRITING, 1947
  • CHILDREN OF THE ALBATROSS, 1947 (Cities of the Interior series)
  • THE FOUR-CHAMBERED HEART, 1950 (Cities of the Interior series)
  • SPY IN THE HOUSE OF LOVE, 1954 (Cities of the Interior series) - Vakoilija rakkauden talossa (suom. Pentti Saarikoski)
  • SOLAR BARQUE, 1958 (Cities of the Interior series)
  • CITIES OF THE INTERIOR, 1959
  • SEDUCTION OF THE MINOTAUR, 1961
  • COLLAGES, 1964 - Kuuaurinkojuhla
  • THE DIARY OF ANAÏS NIN, VOLUME 1, 1931-1934, 1966
  • THE DIARY OF ANAÏS NIN, VOLUME 2, 1934-1939, 1967
  • NOVEL OF THE FUTURE, 1968
  • THE DIARY OF ANAÏS NIN, VOLUME 3, 1939-1944, 1969
  • THE DIARY OF ANAÏS NIN, VOLUME 4, 1944-1947, 1971
  • A WOMAN SPEAKS: THE LECTURES, SEMINARS, AND INTERVIEWS OF ANAÏS NIN, 1975
  • THE DIARY OF ANAÏS NIN, VOLUME 5, 1947-1955, 1974
  • IN FAVOUR OF THE SENSITIVE MAN, 1976
  • WASTE OF TIMELESSNESS, 1977
  • DELTA OF VENUS: EROTICA, 1977 - Erotica
  • THE DIARY OF ANAÏS NIN, VOLUME 6, 1955-1966, 1977
  • LINOTTE: THE EARLY DIARY OF ANAÏS NIN 1914-1920, 1978
  • THE LITTLE BIRDS: EROTICA, 1979 - Pikkulinnut
  • THE DIARY OF ANAÏS NIN, VOLUME 7, 1966-1974, 1981
  • THE EARLY DIARY OF ANAÏS NIN: VOLUME TWO, 1920-1923, 1982
  • A LITERARY PASSION, 1987 (with Henry Miller)
  • INCEST: FROM "A JOURNAL OF LOVE": THE UNEXPURGED DIARY OF ANAïs NIN, 1932-1934, 1992
  • FIRE : FROM "A JOURNAL OF LOVE": THE UNEXPURGATED DIARY OF ANAIS NIN, 1934-1937, 1995
  • ARROWS OF LONGING: THE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN ANAIS NIN AND FELIX POOLAK 1952-1976, 1998

Comments 9 comments

livelonger profile image

livelonger 9 years ago from San Francisco

I loved "Henry & June" (the movie). Anais Nin was a real trailblazer for female sexuality.


Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 9 years ago Author

Thank you, Livelonger, for commenting. I loved "Henry & June" as well. I spent a good part of my twenties obsessed with the life of Anais Nin. I bought my first book of hers, "Children of the Albatross" in my senior year of college and immediately began my transition out of good girl status - which was a tremendous relief to me! I conducted a long, vicarious relationship with her life via her diaries...


lingerie consultant 9 years ago

What an intersting woman


Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 9 years ago Author

She was fascinating, willful, an author's author, obsessed with analyzing and fictionalizing the events of her life, living every moment from a literary perspective.


Iðunn 8 years ago

I tell you, it's weird but in a way, to me she came off as very masculine in an odd way.  Like with Ayn Rand, I'm never had a fondness for the male quality of self-centeredness in women.  And I say that having only read, I believe it was Diary.  Perhaps I should give her another chance, but I'm not sure it will make a difference.  With Rand, for example, I love her writing itself which is exquisite and her books, but I don't like her philosophy and I don't like her from what I know about her bio.

Good hub though.


Iðunn 8 years ago

oh and cory, if you haven't seen the little doco on dominique aury yet, you should.   I don't know if you will "like" her, but I did and very much so.  she was exactly as I thought she would be, what a beautiful person.


Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 8 years ago Author

Merci beaucoup Iðunn cherie. I will.

And i totally understand your point of view on Anaise Nin. She definitely embodies a strong sense of self and of entitlement. Ohhhhhhhh.... I just got an idea. I can start to blame some of my foibles on the authors I've read ;-) What I mean about how she changed my life is that when I did, at the end of my college years, she influenced the leap I took into womanhood with her diaries and novellettes, the complex characters such as Sabina, which I feel was a self-portrait, and June, who was, June, Henry Miller's June. As I found my way through Greenwich Village and Boerum Hill, I felt I was playing out a cosmic connection with her stories. Not completely me, because I didn't know who that way... There are authors who as a more mature reader hold me in a much different (and better way), like Isabel Allende... and thou.


Iðunn 8 years ago

oh, no worries and certainly you and I will differ on opinion many times. I'm glad you found useful things in her work and you don't have to explain it to me or minimize it or anything of the like. I was just sharing what I thought. and if there is a 'flawed thinking' it's probably mine.

I like self-centeredness in men. In them, I see it as childlike and thus kind of vulnerable and it pulls at me in almost a maternal way. Oddly and probably unfairly I don't like it in women. I am a bit of a sexist I suppose, or to be kind, one might call it traditional.

Certainly don't give my opinion all that much value, it's just an opinion of one of the masses and I was just sharing, not criticizing. We are all different and different things touch us, I believe.

I do think you would like the aury doco though.


pemory 6 years ago

Hi:

Been a fan of AN since the 1980s, but I've savored the works that comprise "Cities of the Interior." So, 20+ years after completing "Seduction of the Minotaur" I'm beginning "Ladders to Fire" (lots of lost years in a bad marriage interrupted my reading/learning/discovery). What I find particularly appealing about "Cities of the Interior" is the awakenings that take place. That's the real marrow for me.

Many thanks for the good discussions here.

~pemory

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working