The following entry presents an overview of Nin's career. For further information on her life and works, see CLC, Volumes 1, 4, 8, 11, 14, and
She became almost a cult figure from her earliest days of publication, and her reflections on the feminine experience made her a leading presence for a faction of the feminist movement.
See also CLC, Vols. As with Anna Kavan or Djuna Barnes, their novels have the particular flavour of internality—the compression which comes from a highly coloured, sensitive personality's producing artistic work almost wholly from the self.
And, very strikingly in their work, men are mysterious or contemptible outsiders from true communication.
Fathers, lovers, husbands, all are objects of love and jealousy, almost emblematic in their separateness.
More to be analysed and dreamt over than understood, men perpetually block the moments of flaring empathy which only women can share. These daughters revere their fathers, fall in love with them again after long separation, and must eventually see that all of their responses to men have been controlled by the image of the father.
Both partners in the fantasy are immured in emotional childhood, and the father wishes for nothing else. These three novellas have strikingly parallel movements.
Constructed on almost no incidents or scenes but upon the progression of the heroine's self-analysis, the narratives move toward a recognition that beneath the mask of power and knowledge the godlike male is a weak, selfish parasite.
Then what to do?
That is the fiction's import: This exquisite lady has pursued her solitary path for over forty years, and is only just emerging as a distinguished public figure…. Warmth, food, scents, company, conversation, the delights of the flesh. But she is no mere hedonist.
The inner life is her preoccupation, and her literary and personal hunting-ground: Her constant exploration of heart, body and soul is enhanced by some of the loveliest prose I have ever read.
She is a writer's writer, though her insights will reach a broader audience. She is an exquisite person, physically judging from her photographs mentally judging from her work and she exudes a personal magic which is recognised by, and draws to her other people. She never preaches, she shows.
She knows better than most what it costs to be a woman and a writer….
The way out, or on, is most diligently to discover yourself and to pursue your chosen road: The diaries of Anais Nin, although revised and intensely compressed, and revised—as Nin has said—by the novelist, are, by their nature, a species of autobiography.
Although their excellence has caused them to be ranked with works of imagination, a rank accorded few autobiographies in spite of the current popularity of the genre, they are not novels—one has only to put them next to her novels to feel that—and to ignore that fact is to miss out on the special reading experience which they seem to inspire.
Nin's diaries are books of wisdom which have elevated their author to the status of a sage and have had a healing effect on many of her readers, an effect which would be altered if the books were semi-fiction, although, clearly, works of fiction can function as books of wisdom.
It is unlikely that anyone has bent to kiss her hem as did one adoring reader of George Eliot, but Nin has evoked in her readers a response similar to the tenacious adulation that surrounded Eliot in her later years, and has joined the company of those great teachers—Eliot, Wordsworth, and the savage but salutary D.
Lawrence—who had a visionary sense of the healing power of feeling. Although Nin places her deepest expectations in the personal and private sphere, the diaries are not confessional works. Nin was a practicing Catholic until her teens and therefore familiar with the ritual of confession; she was a student of psychoanalysis and herself an analyst, accustomed to the recuperative monologues of the analysand, but her diaries are not confessional in the most common sense of the word.
She does not seek to unburden herself of material as if that material is an impediment to her freedom, nor does she pay guilty attention to the more ignoble details of her life as if to absolve herself by virtue of her typicality or detestability.
If anything, she is herself the priest or lay confessor, confessing to herself by means of the diary, but also, by means of the diary, absolving herself from raw experience by transmuting it into form—not just any form, but conscious and lucid writing which expresses control even when she is discussing her weaknesses.
In certain respects the diaries are as elusive as the father they are written to—the absence of Nin's husband in these pages, for instance, necessarily leaves a fissure which would make all other relationships undergo a geological shift—and Nin's omissions have been a focus for criticism of her work, some readers asserting that she appears to have led a life less conditioned by circumstance than the diaries reveal, thus giving us a falsely reassuring picture of human abilities insofar as she comes to stand for human abilities.
This is a criticism that becomes more important as her diaries tend to become more and more models of a life and books of wisdom, for if we look to Peter Pan to teach us to fly but do not see the hook and wire holding him to the ceiling we are in trouble, though he may temporarily increase our optimism.
If Nin does omit crucial elements which would change the tone and nature of the diaries as they now stand she is also persuasive in making us comprehend that these elements are not as crucial as the principles of realism have led us to think.
For our idea of what a "life" is, based on only relative tenets of Western perception, economy, and chronology, does not necessarily match the shape or proportion with which Nin lives hers, and it is her great strength that she has resisted the habituating sets that conquer and form most of us, her vision changing our notions of the plausible and possible.
Just as certain yogis dispel our assumption that we need continuous breath to stay alive, so Nin persuades us that it is not impractical to be guided by dreams, not impossible to defy gravity for a few minutes longer than we think.
It is important to note that the characters in Nin's novels also have lives which are, in ordinary terms, unconditioned, possessing an anonymity and inconsistency at odds with the crystallized characterization handed down from the nineteenth-century novel, lives which are not Nin's own but which she sees in a similar way.
For Nin, realism is a form of defeat. She craves the idyllic, the supreme version, and her drive toward the perfect, the harmonized, the Utopian, and her impulse to make things as intense, prolific, and beautiful as possible, is a central feature of the diaries.
Transforming her optimism into an esthetic, she believes that the role of the artist is to transform ugliness into beauty, in life as well as in writing. Taking her father's desire to be thought perfect and generously inverting it, she wants others to think they are perfect.
And if she makes myth of herself and writes herself large, it is not as a narcissist but out of a desire to transform her life by means of discipline and optimism into the most lovely and elevated existence possible.
The supreme version can be a fiction, however, and we do not want diaries to be fiction, nor, for that matter, do we want novels to be fairy-tale. Nin's passion for harmony expresses itself in her distaste for harsh contradiction or polemic.Anaïs Nin () was best known for her multi-volume Diary of Anaïs Nin, which became an iconic series of writings in feminist regardbouddhiste.com was a splendid essayist as well.
For Nin, writing was as much a necessity as breathing. Here are some of her quotes on writing, life, and love. I wish to quote a key passage from Balakian’s essay: “The saving grace of the self-centered persona in terms of art is, in Nin’s case, the infinite complexity of her personality, the rich and dense mosaic of her images of self that prevail after each incomplete attempt at creating ‘the other.’.
Assertion Journal #1 By: Moose Renaldez In this quote, James Baldwin is insisting that there are some inconsistencies in education. It deals with both internal and external personal experiences being applied to the studies of students.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald? Christopher Poindexter? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: Goodreads is one of the most popular community websites for readers, and it includes a massive collection of quotations. Since anyone can share a quotation it is unsurprising that some of them are misattributed or inaccurately stated.
The Monstrous Personal Chronicles of the Thirties. I quote it here mainly to indicate how close it is conceptually to Lawrence's formulation.
Something is being written that is not history but comes before history, something that will interest historians because it is a document. Miller's essay on Anais Nin is the last of the dozen.
Transcript of AP Lang Assertion Journal. AP English Language Using the quote, reading or visual image: Clearly explain the author or artist’s assertion (claim). Anais Nin "People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a .