A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin Henry Miller, by Anaïs Nin
Ana-s Nin () was born in Paris and aspired at an early age to be a writer. An influential artist and thinker, she was the author of several novels, short . Anaïs Nin was a Paris-born author of diaries, novels, short stories, and erotic Letters of Anaïs Nin & Henry Miller, Henry and June: From a Journal of Love, and . The intimacy between Nin and Miller, first disclosed in Henry and June, is documented further in this impassioned exchange of letters between the two.
Undeterred, Nin requested that after she died inthe remaining portions of her diary be published. These unpublished selections often dealt with her sex life -- an area women have long fought to control on their own terms.
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As expected, the resulting books leapt off the shelves and an arty film ensued Henry and June,but their revelations were also met with withering condemnation and sometimes-hostile misunderstanding.
This month Swallow Press is releasing Mirages: It follows the four previously published "unexpurgated" diaries, the first of which is Henry and June, which revealed Nin's love affair with the writer Henry Miller.
The second, Incest, shocked readers by describing Nin's brief affair with her father, a faithless Don Juan who had abandoned her when she was a child. Fire disclosed Nin's complicated relationship with psychoanalyst Otto Rank, a close colleague of Sigmund Freud. Mirages is particularly explosive. In it, Nin chronicles what few of us would admit or even consider and will no doubt enflame the usual brigade of outraged moralists who have heaped scorn upon her for daring to live by her own moral code, write about her adventures, and then allow that writing to be published for all to read.
But it will also meet with a new kind of understanding specific to the 21st century. Were we acting for each other, to each other? Was I less I, or more I, and you less or more you? Is it madness to believe that this could go on? When and where would the drab moments begin?
I study you so much to discover the possible flaws, the weak points, the danger zones. I don't find them—not any. That means I am in love, blind, blind.
To be blind forever! Now they're singing "Heaven and Ocean" from La Gioconda. I picture you playing the records over and over—Hugo's records.
How you must be furrowed and ploughed by it. I know all that, but I can't do anything to prevent it.
- A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin Henry Miller, 1932-1953
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I wish indeed it were me who had to endure it. I know now your eyes are wide open.
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Certain things you will never believe anymore, certain gestures you will never repeat, certain sorrows, misgivings, you will never again experience. A kind of white criminal fervor in your tenderness and cruelty.
Neither remorse nor vengeance, neither sorrow nor guilt. A living it out, with nothing to save you from the abysm but a high hope, a faith, a joy that you tasted, that you can repeat when you will.
All morning I was at my notes, ferreting through my life records, wondering where to begin, how to make a start, seeing not just another book before me but a life of books. But I don't begin. The walls are completely bare—I had taken everything down before going to meet you. It is as though I had made ready to leave for good.
The spots on the walls stand out—where our heads rested. While it thunders and lightnings I lie on the bed and go through wild dreams. We're in Seville and then in Fez and then in Capri and then in Havana. We're journeying constantly, but there is always a machine and books, and your body is always close to me and the look in your eyes never changes.
Anaïs Nin Facts
People are saying we will be miserable, we will regret, but we are happy, we are laughing always, we are singing. We are talking Spanish and French and Arabic and Turkish. We are admitted everywhere and they strew our path with flowers.
I say this is a wild dream—but it is this dream I want to realize. Life and literature combined, love the dynamo, you with your chameleon's soul giving me a thousand loves, being anchored always in no matter what storm, home wherever we are.
In the mornings, continuing where we left off.