Dear Ana s, You think too much You need to act your age Get a job Honor your marriage vows or get a divorce You re like a teenager with a tattered, doodled spiral bound notebook and a Starbucks prepaid account app Or like one of our modern day hipsters, a trustafarian thinking you re so edgy in your ragged velvet dress with the holes in the elbows, going against convention in dive caf s and being bicurious with the friend du jour You re not deep Or avant garde You re just self indulgent, inconstant, and annoying You re not sucking the marrow out of life you re just sucking Grow up Get out in the world Take on some responsibility Then you ll have something real to write about Sincerely, A Twenty first Century Woman This is the kind of book I love reading I am delighted to find Anais Nin She is extraordinary.Her writing is brilliant or shall I say terrific She writes short sentences packed with meaning I trust her voice completely There are no back thoughts She is writing for herself One can easily sense this in short, crisp and beautifully worded sentences While reading this book, I also felt that this could easily be a novel.At times, her writing, in certain parts of her journals, reminds me of D H Lawrence, but soon her style, honesty, the eagerness to tell it all in clear and precise manner set her fiercely apart, not only from Lawrence but from others She is just being Anais Nin Just read this, the whole book carries this quality of description and keeps the reader firmly in her world I have just been standing before the open window of my bedroom and I have breathed in deeply, all the sunshine, the snowdrops, the crocuses, the primroses, the crooning of the pigeons, the trills of the birds, the entire possessions of soft winds and cool smells, of frail colors and petal textured skies, the knotted grey brown of old trees, the vertical shoots of young branches, the wet brown earth, the torn roots I suppose I need to read this book again She explores relationships, sexuality and unconscious, and how all these unfold in her life and impact her There is much in her journals in terms of sexuality that has most probably been later theorized by the modern day theorists For some vague reasons I could not help thinking of Gender Trouble by Judith Butler these journals show us what it means to be human in a world of rigidly defined categories man, women, straight, gay, transgender They all intersect These categories trouble her because she could be so much The reality of human life pushes her to be just one thing The dreams, the unconscious have other designs, patterns, other realities to offer, and she goes deep into them unafraid.In her book, The Novel of the Future she emphasizes the importance of dreams, of the unconscious and what lies in there We must explore the unconscious, if we want to create Just going after the real or concrete is to impede what really real is, and only pursuing this real has the potential to make us alive, conscious of what we do and who we are The writing itself shows the reality of human life as ever flowing, ever mobile in sharp contrast to the school of realism which she rejects to embrace and explore the real thing.I strongly recommend her I am really keen on reading of work. The fear of reality and its tearingThe writing of Ana s Nin has an intoxicating force, it comes from a long daily practice, the keeping of his diary touches closer to his emotions and offers us an authenticity that does not have the fiction She evokes the deception of literatureWe read books and we expect life to be just as full of interest and intensity And, of course, it is not She analyzes with keenness, her search for total love, the passion in what she has of destruction and change, the suffering of jealousy, while revolting against the traditional vision of the couple This laboratory of the senses, this revealer of the female body and its desires, precipitates in the body of the text a quest for identity that upsets, even today, the attentive readerThe Journal is a product of my illness, it is perhaps an exaggeration, an accentuation I m talking about the relief that I feel while writing but it is also, perhaps, a way of engraving pain in me, like a tattoo It gives Henry the opportunity to be whole , no longer split into a radiant writer on one side, and a man, with all his excesses and weaknesses, on the other Is Ana s a demon A demiurge rather Some passages are of a sensuality, a crudity, overflowing, yet she makes this admissionMy words are not deep enough, barbaric enough They hide, they hide I will not know the rest until I have told my descent into the heart of a sensuality that was as dark, as beautiful, as wild as my moments of mystical creation were dazzling, ecstatic, exalted.Ana s is a sexual angel , an angel all the same She is frightened, but also discovers imprisonment, loneliness in the very heart of her relationship with Hugo, the discovery that love is not enough, that she must now find in herself all the rest , and that all that could germinate in her henceforth, outside and beyond this sequestration, could no longer stop growing She looks for the deep love that will be able to reconcile her with her being, to free her totally, to allow her to finally be at the height of life From there, a surprising reversal takes place in his relationship with Henry who says in a letterIn the hands of any person, the newspaper can be considered as a mere refuge, as a flight from reality, a mirror of Narcissus, but Ana s refuses to let him fall into this cliche I am not happy, nor am I deeply unhappy I feel a sort of sad melancholy that I have trouble explaining I want you If you leave me now, I m lost Henry and June is the type of journal that makes me want to highlight passage after passagesince journals so often have the types of personal reflections that are hard to achieve in pure fiction I did get bored with it fast, though Maybe because after the first few instances of lust, jealousy, psychoanalysis, and then lust, jealousy, and psychoanalysis, it was pretty much the same events and observations repeating themselves in different forms But then again, journals aren t supposed to be designed to engage the reader they re designed to be self fulfilling So it s kinda hard to complain about a journal from a reader s standpoint Which brings me to wonder something about these writings Nin shared her journal with several people actually, most of the men in her life who she writes about read her journal at some point, with her permission So I m curious about how honestly she really wrote, knowing it could potentially be read by her subjects It seemed honest raw, but do we tailor things to the eyes of those who will be reading it The same way we might be inclined to structure fiction according to a workshop we re in, or which publisher we re aiming for Nin says at one point in her journal that she no longer wants to write about her husband because she can t do so honestly that it s like writing about God You exalt someone and create a distance between yourself and that person, not wanting to say anything bad about them for fear of being blasphemous In this case, it seemed to be Nin being attentive to her husband s sensitivity and the tenderness she felt for him, even though her physical passion was found through Henry At one point in the journal her psychiatrist said to her You do not want weak men, but until they have become weak in your hands you are not satisfied Though he tended to make annoying generalizations, I think he really nailed that one I was wondering if her passions were so intense toward Henry only because she couldn t possess him completely It seems so common, especially if you broaden it to everyday greed Because of her greed, Nin s husband also nailed it when he said this to her Beware of being trapped in your own imaginings You instill sparks in others, you charge them with your illusions, and when they burst forth into illuminations, you are taken in. Is Anais Nin a good writer Ought we take her seriously Apparently some do, but the description on the back of the Penguin edition about sums up this book, culled from the unexpurgated diaries of Ms Nin during the period in which writer Henry Miller and his wife June Masefield figure large on her horizon it is a compelling account of a woman s sexual and emotional awakening If you don t groan at that charmless phrase, variations of which are so thoughtlessly used to describe any risque tome penned by a woman, you may enjoy Henry and June here But what this really is, this diary, so obviously written with publication in mind so much of it is flowery, daring and conflicted , is a record of one person s unchecked narcissism, the diary of a spoiled little rich girl and her self created problems No one comes off well in this the husband is the world s most oblivious cuckold, the psychoanalyst a bit of a charlatan surprise who secretly lusts for some Nin, the writer a would be volcano who s disappointingly a kitten at heart, his wife surely a neurotic Fury who ll end up destroying everyone in the end, alas but the narrator comes off worst of all She loves her husband Hugo, that bland boob, or wait she loves Miller, who she s sure will be a great literary genius or no, maybe she hates Miller and loves her analyst, who can seemingly read her like a book, play her like a violin, or no, it s June, Miller s wife, absent for most of the time in question, but always present as the object of Nin s lesbian dreams, who dominates all, all Sigh Whom she loves depends on the week, really, but most assuredly she loves Ana s, and one s appreciation of the book depends on how much Ana s one can stomach I made it to the end after a stretch, but didn t feel very good about it. I can t remember the first time I read Nin s short stories I was probably technically a bit too young for that kind of stuff my mom left all her books laying around and did not really believe in hiding the R rated material , but I also feel weirdly lucky I was exposed to her writing early because it clearly influenced my ideas about sex in what I believe to be a positive way Her emphasis on sensuality, her honesty and frankness about the beautiful and complicated emotions that go with sex, the diversity of her characters, her female characters enjoyment of their bodies that kind of stuff is not usually what you are exposed to as a teenager, which is a shame But importantly, I learnt from Nin that sex is something you can write about shamelessly and beautifully, that you can make literature out of dirty stories and that is a wonderful thing I ll always have a soft spot for her work.But Henry and June is not fiction its material lifted or less directly from Nin s very detailed diaries, and documents the intense year of her life when she first met Henry Miller whose work I have never read, and must now absolutely get to and his wife June Nin becomes fascinated with June at first, but quickly develops feelings for Henry as well, the whole situation turning quickly into a blend of obsession, intense physical desire, intellectual stimulation and search for personal identity The two writers throw themselves into a passionate affair, while understanding perfectly that neither of them will leave their respective spouses The affair eventually ended but they remained in touch for the rest of their lives, having left a long lasting influence on each other.Nin was psychoanalyzed when the science was still relatively new, and she was an insightful amateur analyst herself she kept a meticulous and deeply introspective record of her life, spending a long time detailing her inner world and trying to understand it In this book, she struggles with conflicting desires and ideas, tries to make sense of it all, with varying levels of success.In Ana s Nin, I have found something of a kindred spirit a pervert and an iconoclast, but also a feminist yes, you read that right who felt very strong and deeply vulnerable at the same time, and who had a really hard time reconciling those parts of herself That wonderful quote I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman perfectly captures how I felt in my search for a partner I read that sentence and I wanted to scream This This is what I looked for my whole life , and eventually found in my husband It felt like such a huge contradiction to be happy to submit to someone and still be assertive and living on my own terms Ana s clearly struggled with that conundrum though I understand she never truly resolved it.No, she is not perfect, not always likable, or even moral the idea of all that lying and cheating actually grosses me out I wouldn t want to hang out with someone that selfish and fickle But it is a complete mistake and egregious simplification to reduce this book to simple erotica, or dismiss it because its author is not a very nice person, because there is a lot going on there than smut The honest attempt at untangling her feelings, reactions and at understanding herself are fascinating, the prose is absolutely stunning and to be honest, it makes me feel dreamy to read about people who had such strong bonds, intellectually and physically Most people forget that the brain is where most of the arousal happens, after allIt was also interesting to find what is clearly the seed of some of her short stories in the anecdotes she wrote in this journal Anyone familiar with the Little Birds collection will find a few sentences, a few events that very obviously inspired Nin s fiction later down the road.5 stars for pure reading pleasure and for the entrancing journey in the mind of a very unique writer I use the word pervert here for lack of a better one I can t find a word that means someone who shamelessly enjoys sex and refuses to be judged as a human being based on that aspect of themselves and doesn t mean deviant or into alternative sex whatever the fuck that means. Taken From The Original, Uncensored Journals Of Ana S Nin, Henry And June Spans A Single Year In Nin S Life When She Discovers Love And Torment In One Insatiable Couple From Late To The End Of , Nin Falls In Love With Henry Miller S Writing And His Wife June S Striking Beauty When June Leaves Paris For New York, Henry And Ana S Begin A Fiery Affair That Liberates Her Sexually And Morally, But Also Undermines Her Marriage And Eventually Leads Her Into Psychoanalysis As She Grapples With Her Own Conscience, A Single Question Dominates Her Thoughts What Will Happen When June Returns To Paris An Intimate Account Of One Woman S Sexual Awakening, Henry And June Exposes The Pain And Pleasure Felt By A Single Person Trapped Between Two Loves Anais Nin has been an idol of mine for a long time There are few women of literary stature which I find relatable As a young reader I cherished Judy Bloom As an adult woman, I was thrilled to read Anais Nin Intelligent, witty and sexually provocative I admire her supreme linguistic talent Her writing, in whtever form, always maintains a powerful poetic lexicon She made love most fervently when she held the pen in her hand This excerpt from her personal journal is so very intimate, flux with sexuality, but you feel her grace and delicate vulnerability Something deeply personal left for us readers.I also admire Nin because she was an uninhibited sexual being long before it was socially acceptable Is it even acceptable today Sensuality is a secret power in my body, someday it will show, healthy and ample Wait a while Her thoughts and feelings are confident as she expresses herself, an empowering embodiment of feminism even by today s standards Her confidence becomes emboldened with lovers Nin is the epitome of unbridled lust for life. I can t get enough of her She is such a complex woman, I identify with so much of her intelect, with her hunger for love and with her powerfully erotic self, every page I read I find something else that applies so well to my life in this moment, my relationships, that it scares me Reading her diaries is a very personal experience for me.LATER EDIT I have very strong opinions on what a woman should be like, and I strive to live up to them More than being a way in which I think the world should live, it s a way in which I want to live Anais is part of one of my favorite literary power couples Henry Anais, Heidegger Hannah , and I identify with her passion for her relationship and with the strength of her own emotions, for how she feels desperately torn between her sensitive heart and her concrete like intellect I have fallen in love with her whilst reading what she has written about sex how she discovered it and what it meant for her to be a powerfully erotic woman, like an animal than a human being, following her instinct and instilling death bearing passions in the men of her life I discovered her when I was 18, and I believe that was just on time, as it gave me insight into who I wanted to be Her diaries show a very strong and intelligent woman, but they also show she was emotionally weak, dependent on men, desiring power and dominance outwardly, while secretly dealing with being sexually submissive That is a very fine line to walk and it takes a lot of introspection to be able to never mix the two I am not just reading her diaries I am studying them You can live a much better life if you understand the mistakes of someone who was talented enough to put them on paper. While reading this I was thinking that Anais is a narcissistic bitch, which I don t really necessarily hold against her I m sure it makes reading her journals interesting than it would be otherwise On one hand she comes off as so egotistical, spending the majority of her pages on how wonderful other people think she is Oh, you are so beautiful you are so wonderful I love you than I could ever love another woman you are everything to me So on and so forth On the other hand, she is incredibly insecure She even admits she is constantly striking poses Considering there are no other hands, you see both sides of her are obsessed over the same thing herself I sense this even when she is raving about Henry and or June She s cheating on her poor husband who we are told worships her with Henry who we are also told worships her , and there are a few other men who also worship her, of course , and she is so worried about her own feelings over all this that she nonchalantly professes how innocent she feels when writing about her infidelities, even while just a few feet away from her unsuspecting or rather self blinding husband She must be overestimating the promiscuity of others if she sill thinks she s got much sexual awakening to do But like I said, all this does help make her journals interesting.She is a good writer, though a bit dramatic and tends to over analyze things She seems open, sincere and honest, but sometimes seems hindered because she does not know what she truly feels Reading this I can t help but think I know women like her and this is a great introspective view of what drives them.