A Life-Crush on Anais Nin

the woman herself

I’m just as interested in Anais Nin as I am in her writing. I adore her writing–though of course you wouldn’t catch me reading it amongst children. But I love her persona (and her love affair with Henry Miller) just as much.

Here’s a great snippet from a letter Nin wrote to Miller in 1937:

I love when you say all that happens is good, it is good. I say all that happens is wonderful. For me it is all symphonic, and I am so aroused by living – god, Henry, in you alone I have found the same swelling of enthusiasm, the same quick rising of the blood, the fullness, the the fullness…
Before, I almost used to think there was something wrong. Everybody else seemed to have the brakes on. I never feel the brakes. I overflow. And when I feel your excitement about life flaring, next to mine, then it makes me dizzy.

She seems like the kind of woman who lived as much as she wrote–and for that, I admire her. In an English class I recently had, the professor was talking about how Henry James didn’t have many life experiences because he was so busy writing. It’s no surprise that Anais Nin is known as a diarist. She was so busy living that much of what she got to write about was her life.

Really, what I’ve been wanting to call from the rooftops is that I have a life-crush on Anais Nin. In addition to the Great Loves and the Great Stories, Nin was a bohemian, living in the times that would be fabled after they were over. She wrote erotica but I’m sure her life was a string of white-hot erotica, too. And damnit, that’s pretty admirable.

In her time she was known as a narcissist, sociopath, and sexual deviant–effects of a bold career. But she’s achieved a new fame (and worship!) in recent years, spurred by the advent of the internet. Her frankly fantastic quips have found a niche audience in tumblr/pinterest/other places where girls comb through quotes for inspiration. As this Guardian article says, “The rehabilitation of Nin is taking place not because her work has changed, but because the world has changed to make room for her work. Like many great and “mercilessly pretentious” experimentalists, she wrote for a world that did not yet exist, and so helped to bring it into being.”

Regurgitations from the Internet…get ready to ~enjoy~ her wisdom



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