Anaïs Nin (Spanish: [anaˈis ˈnin]; born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell; February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977) was an author born to Cuban parents in France, where she was also raised. She spent some time in Spain and Cuba but lived most of her life in the United States where she became an established author. She wrote journals (which span more than 60 years, beginning when she was 11 years old and ending shortly before her death), novels, critical studies, essays, short stories, and erotica. A great deal of her work, including Delta of Venus and Little Birds, was published posthumously.
One of my favourite authors, Anais Nin wrote of dreams and the communication through signs and symbols of the human psyche.
Anais wrote of the novels that were appearing in the 1930s and 1940s that they over-simplified the human psyche and reduced it through rational analyses. ‘To much lucidity,’ she says, ‘creates a desert.’
Her work is defined by a poetic and universal reality.There are enigmas and mysteries. Her world is peopled by individuals and she finds their reality by observing and not by analytical procedures. Anais was much more in touch with European poetry than American realism.
She writes in Seduction of the Minotaur:
Lillian’s recurrent dream of a ship that could not reach the water, that sailed laboriously, pushed by her with great effort, through city streets, had determined her course toward the sea, as if she would give this ship once and for all, its proper seabed.
And in Collages:
What I wanted to teach you is contained in one page of the dictionary. It is all the words beginning with ‘trans’: transfigure, transport, transcend, translucent, transgression, transform, transmit, transmute, transpiret and all the trans-Siberian voyages.
Since I first discovered Anais Nin I have collected all her work. Her diaries can be dipped into and beautiful words are always found. Words that link together into sentences that show us how to live. The artist’s life.
Anais lived for many years in Silver Lake, a residential neighborhood in Los Angeles, California.
She was married to Rupert Pole, magnetically handsome, who was first an actor and then became a forest ranger. He was Anais Nin’s California husband. She had a New York husband, Hugh Guiler, whom she always called Hugo, and had married when she was very young.
From The Journals of Anais Nin, Volume Seven 1966-1974
The pool is steaming like those pools in the mountains of Japan, everything through glass, through prisms, the amethyst water squires a different dimension, it enlarges itself, its colours: it is so beautiful.
My friend designed a very beautiful diary book, handmade, with soft Japanese rice paper and in gold on the red leather cover, my handwritten diary signature: “Mon Journal–Anais Nin”. I was determined that no illness would be recorded in this diary. So I decided to make it a diary of music. I will only write in it when the musicians come, when I hear music. And it will be a separate part of my life.
Anais Nin sort luminosity and the quality of phosphorescence in her work. I have always loved fairytales and her work is made up of fables and signs and omens so I relate to it and understand the power of these things: the labyrinth in which one loses oneself and with luck finds the way through, the boat that is pushed through city streets to the sea. Her work possesses a magnetic quality I am drawn to and reread often. What better books to have in my life but hers.