by Anais Nin
Anais Nin was a famous feminist writer. She lived in France, and had a long friendship with Henry Miller. From an early age she knew she wanted to be a writer, and began writing poetry and short stories. She became famous for her erotic writing and is well-known for her extensive diaries, which she began at age 11 and continued for sixty years. At the time I read the first few volumes of her diaries, I really didn't know much about her, or why her writing was famous. All I knew was that I was reading the innermost thoughts and aspirations of a young girl who was a fabulous writer. She has a beautiful way with words that I still remember impressing me greatly, even though I can't recall any particulars now about the events described in the diaries.
I'm not sure what made me pick up the first volume of Anias Nin's diaries, which I first borrowed from the library as a teen, and later sought out further volumes at used bookstores. (I no longer have any of them). I know I had a goal in mind to read through them all, and took particular pains to search out the early volumes, so I could read them in chronological order. I never made it to the main volumes, which were published first, and start at the point where Nin was recently married to her first husband and about to meet Henry Miller. I made it through the first two early volumes, and perhaps part of the third. I'm not sure now what made me stop. Perhaps my interest lagged. Perhaps the hint of erotica to come unsettled me- sensuality in books could make me very uncomfortable as a teen.
Anais Nin's diaries are among those books I'm sure I didn't fully appreciate as a teenager, and think about revisiting someday. Have any of you read her diaries? What did you think? Should I try them again, or attempt some of her fictional works?
Rating: 3/5 ....... pages various, 1914-1927
Besides searching on Wiki, you can read more about Anais Nin (including extensive quotes from her diaries) on the Official Anais Nin blog and at Her Happy Highness.