Anais Nin IPA: (born Angela Anais Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell) (February 21, 1903 - January 14, 1977) was a Cuban-French author who became famous for her published journals, which span more than 60 years, beginning when she was 11 years oldending shortly before her death. Nin is also famous for her erotica.
Anais Nin was born in Neuilly, France, to two artistic parents. Her father, Joaquin Nin, was a Cuban pianistcomposer,her mother Rosa Culmell was also Cuban, but of FrenchDanish ancestrywas a classically trained singer. Her paternal great-grandfather fled France during the Revolution, going first to Haiti, then New Orleans,finally to Cuba where he helped build that country's first railroad. After her parents separated, her mother moved Anaisher two brothers, Thorvald NinJoaquin Nin-Culmell from Barcelona to New York City. According to her diaries, Volume One, 1931 - 1934, Nin abandoned formal schooling at the age of 16began working as a model.
On 3 March 1923, in Havana, Cuba, she married her first husband, Hugh Parker Guiler (1898-1985), a bankerartist, 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 careerNin 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 Freud.
During the war, Nin sent her books to Frances Steloff of the Gotham Book Mart in New York for safekeeping.
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, NinHugh 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),in Bells of Atlantis (1952), a film directed by Guiler under the name "Ian Hugo" with a soundtrack of electronic music by LouisBebe Barron.
In 1947, at the age of 44, she metbegan 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 Citywas unaware of Nin's second marriage until after her death in 1977.
After Guiler's death in 1985, the unexpurgated versions of her journals were commissioned by Pole.
Nin often cited authors Djuna BarnesD. H. Lawrence as inspirations. She states in Volume One of her diaries that sheHenry Miller drew inspiration from Marcel Proust, André Gide, Jean Cocteau, Paul Valéry,Arthur Rimbaud.
Anais Nin is perhaps best remembered as a diarist. Her journals, which span several decades, provide a deeply explorative insight into her personal liferelationships. Nin was acquainted, often quite intimately, with a number of prominent authors, artists, psychoanalysts,other figures,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,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 mothertwo brothers in her late teens. They rented the apartment of an American man who was away for the summer,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, NinMiller began in the 1940s to write eroticpornographic narratives for an anonymous "collector" for a dollar a page, somewhat as a joke. Nin considered the characters in her erotica to be extreme caricaturesnever intended the work to be published, but changed her mind in the early 1970sallowed them to be published as Delta of VenusLittle Birds.
Nin was a friend,in some cases lover, of many leading literary figures, including Henry Miller, Antonin Artaud, Edmund Wilson, Gore Vidal, James Agee,Lawrence Durrell. Her passionate love affairfriendship with Miller strongly influenced her both as a womanan 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,refers to experiments with beastiality,sexual relationshipsexperiences with women.
In 1973 she received an honorary doctorate from the Philadelphia College of Art. She was elected to the United States National Institute of ArtsLetters in 1974. She died in Los Angeles, California on January 14, 1977; her body was cremated,her ashes were scattered over Santa Monica Bay. Rupert Pole was named Nin's literary executor,he arranged to have new unexpurgated editions of Nin's booksdiaries published between 1985his death in 2006.
In 1990 Philip Kaufman directed the film Henry & June based on Nin's novel HenryJune from The Journal of Love – The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, 1931-1932. She was portrayed in the film by Maria de Medeiros.
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
"This diary is my kief, hashish,opium pipe. This is my drugmy vice."
"...for no one has ever loved an adventurous woman as they have loved adventurous men."
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
"I do not want to be the leader. I refuse to be the leader. I want to live darklyrichly in my femaleness. I want a man lying over me, always over me. His will, his pleasure, his desire, his life, his work, his sexuality the touchstone, the command, my pivot. I don’t mind working, holding my ground intellectually, artistically; but as a woman, oh, God, as a woman I want to be dominated. I don’t mind being told to stand on my own feet, not to cling, be all that I am capable of doing, but I am going to be pursued, fucked, possessed by the will of a male at his time, his bidding."
"How wrong is it for women to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than set out to create it herself."
"I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing."
"Each friend represents a world in us, a world not possibly born until they arrive,it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
"I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy,when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls."
"Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terror, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities,it always balances them."
"Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindnesserrorsbetrayals. It dies of illnesswounds; it dies of weariness, of withering, of tarnishing."
"Dreams are necessary to life."