Anaïs Nin (Painting #8 of 13) “Influential Women”


Anais Nin 1903 - 1977
Anaïs Nin
1903 – 1977

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”

One of the first female writers of erotica, Anaïs Nin’s diaries supplied ample first hand material to support her subject matter. Best known as an American diarist, she delves deep into her emotions and reasoning for her selective promiscuousness. At one point married to two husbands simultaneously, one in New York and the other in Los Angeles, Anaïs walked a fine line in her relationships with the two. She found it necessary to keep a “lie box” to keep her details straight. Not uncommon amongst forward thinking women throughout history, she was drawn to intelligent men who were her perspicacious equal, fulfilling her quest for knowledge and intimacy.

Having had an incestuous relationship with her Cuban musician father, Anaïs might have been a victim of the syndrome of seeking her father in the men she associated with.

According to her diaries, Vol.1, 1931–1934, Nin shared a bohemian lifestyle with Henry Miller during a period when she lived in Paris. Her journals, which span several decades, provide a deeply explorative insight into her personal life and relationships. Nin was acquainted, often quite intimately, with a number of prominent authors, artists, and wrote of them often, especially psychoanalysts Otto Rank, who broke with Freud over Freud’s failure to appreciate the power of women’s sexuality, the value of art, and the meaning of the mother-child relationship. Rank provided Anaïs validation to write her true feelings and perceptions. This was the greatest contribution Anaïs Nin supplied: justification for women to explore their own sexuality and consciousness. Moreover, as a female author describing a primarily masculine constellation of celebrities, Nin’s journals have acquired importance as a counterbalancing perspective from a woman’s point of view.

Previously unpublished works are now in print: A Café in Space, the Anaïs Nin Literary Journal, which most recently includes “Anaïs Nin and Joaquín Nin y Castellanos: Prelude to a Symphony: Letters between a father and daughter.”

So far fifteen volumes of her journals have been published most of which were printed posthumously.

(painting photo: Mark Serman)

© Laurence Revene, 2014

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~ by Larry Revene on July 8, 2014.

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