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Anais Nin

Anais Nin

Nin (c. 1903-1977) is best known for her erotica and for her seven volumes of diaries published from 1966 to the end of her life.

Nin's other works, which include novels and short stories, are greatly influenced by Surrealism, a movement initiated in the 1920s by artists dedicated to exploring irrationality and the unconscious, and by the formal experiments of such Modernists as D. H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf, who employed expressionistic and stream-of-consciousness narration. Rather than relying on a chronological ordering of events as in conventional narratives, Nin wrote in a poetic style featuring repetition, omission, and pastiche as organizing principles. Critics favorably note her attention to physical details and the influence of sensory information on the moods, thoughts, and interactions of her characters. Nin's predominant subject is psychological, and her insights into the behavioral and thought patterns of women have been particularly praised as both astute and free of misanthropy.

Nin began her diary as an ongoing letter to her father, Spanish musician and composer Joaquin Nin, who abandoned his family when she was eleven years old. Nin kept a journal throughout her life, recording such experiences as friendships with famous artists and writers, her years in psychotherapy, and, eventually, her worldwide travels on speaking engagements. Because she edited and excerpted her original diaries for publication in seven volumes as The Diary of Anais Nin, many commentators assess them for insights they shed upon Nin's literary technique. Nin's diaries relate incidents in the present tense and feature real people who appear as carefully delineated characters in fully-realized settings. The diaries are divided according to theme and share many of the concerns expressed in Nin's fiction, including the life of the creative individual, psychoanalysis, the relation between the inner and the outer world, and the nature of sexuality. The volumes include photographs, conversations presented in dialogue form, and letters from Nin's personal correspondence, completing the impression of a thoughtfully orchestrated work of art rather than a spontaneous outpouring of emotions. Susan Stanford Friedman determined: "The Diary records Nin's attempt to create a whole identity in a culture that defines WOMAN in terms of her fragmented roles as mother, daughter, wife, and sister."

Nin's first published work, The House of Incest, is often considered a prose poem due to its intensely resonant narrative. This book achieves a dream-like quality through its emphasis on psychological states rather than on surface reality. Nin's next publication, The Winter of Artifice, contains three long short stories. The first, "Djuna," concerns a menage a trois that closely resembles the relationship Nin depicted in her diary as existing between herself, novelist Henry Miller, and Miller's second wife, June. In "Lilith," Nin portrays the disappointing reunion of a woman with her father, who abandoned her in her childhood, while "The Voice" features an unnamed psychoanalyst and his four female patients who must learn to incorporate the emotions experienced in their dreams into their conscious lives. Under a Glass Bell, another collection of Nin's short fiction, contains "Birth," one of her most celebrated pieces. In this story, a woman undergoes excruciating labor only to bear a stillborn child and discover that through this process she has been symbolically freed of her past. This Hunger…, Nin's next collection of short fiction, extends her exploration of the female unconscious in psychoanalytic terms.

Cities of the Interior, which Nin described as a "continuous novel," is often considered her most ambitious and critically successful project. Between 1946 and 1961, Nin published the work in five parts; these installments were published as Ladders to Fire, Children of the Albatross, The Four-Chambered Heart, A Spy in the House of Love, and Seduction of the Minotaur. Ladders to Fire concerns Lillian, a character known for her violent temper, who is as dissatisfied with her extramarital affair as she is with her marriage. Lillian seeks the perfect lover as an antidote to the problems of her life. In Children of the Albatross, Djuna, a minor character in Ladders to Fire, is emotionally stunted due to her father's abandonment. Djuna prefers playing mother to a series of adolescent lovers rather than becoming involved in a mature relationship with a man. In The Four-Chambered Heart, Djuna gains a measure of self-awareness through her relationship with Rango, a Guatemalan musician and political activist. A Spy in the House of Love, Nin's most popular novel, features Sabina, a minor character in the earlier volumes. A woman looking for affection through sexual gratification, Sabina discovers she has never experienced love. Seduction of the Minotaur reintroduces Lillian, who realizes the preciousness of human life while travelling in Mexico and returns to her husband a more mature woman. Collages (1964), an experimental novel that relies upon pastiche unified by a single character, reworks themes from Nin's earlier novels.

Much of Nin's fame is attributable to the short erotic pieces she wrote for a patron while living in Paris during the early 1940s. Collected in Delta of Venus and Little Birds, these works have garnered much commentary regarding their status as literature. Although many feminist critics object in principle to sexually explicit literature, some have championed Nin's erotica, declaring that these stories advocate mutual respect and consent between the participants in a sexual relationship. Some critics defend Nin's graphic depiction of sexual situations as an exploration of psychological truths, while others emphasize that her artistry removes these pieces from the category of pornography.

Further Reading

Newsweek, January 24, 1977.

New York Times, January 16, 1977.

Time, January 24, 1977.

Washington Post, January 16, 1977.

Anais Nin Observed: From a Film Portrait of a Woman as Artist, Swallow Press, 1976.

Authors in the News, Gale, Volume II, 1976.

Contemporary Literary Criticism, Gale, Volume I, 1973, Volume IV, 1975, Volume VIII, 1978, Volume XI, 1979, Volume XIV, 1980.

Cutting, Rose Marie, Anais Nin: A Reference Guide, C. K. Hall, 1978.

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Gale, Volume II: American Novelists since World War II, 1978, Volume IV: American Writers in Paris, 1980.

Evans, Oliver, Anais Nin, Southern Illinois University Press, 1968.

Franklin, Benjamin V, Anais Nin: A Bibliography, Kent State University Press, 1973. □

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Nin, Anaïs (1903-1977)

NIN, ANAÏS (1903-1977)

Anaïs Nin, a diarist, writer, and lay analyst, was born on February 21, 1903, in Neuilly, near Paris. She died on January 16, 1977 in Los Angeles.

She was the daughter of Joaquin J. Nin y Castellanos (1879-1949), Cuban-born Spanish pianist and composer, and Rosa Culmell (1871-1954), Danish-French soprano. Nin lived in France, Belgium, Germany, and Spain until 1914, when her mother took her and two younger brothers to America. Her father, a compulsive Don Juan, had deserted his family for a young student. In New York Nin soon quit school, educated herself, and worked as a model for artists and clothing manufacturers.

In 1923 she married Boston-born Hugh Parker Guiler (1898-1985), a Columbia University graduate. From 1924 until 1939 the Guilers lived in Paris, where "Hugo" became an officer of an America bank, and Nin pursued her writing. They returned to New York in 1940, due to the war, and Nin, in 1948, began a "trapeze" life between her husband in New York and a lover in California, which she secretively pursued for almost thirty years. She died of cancer in Los Angeles in January 1977.

Lastingly traumatized by the enforced separation from her beloved father, on her journey into lifelong "exile," the eleven-year-old Catholic girl began a deeply confessional diary, from which edited selections first appeared in 1966. A record of an unending effort to realize and reconcile multiple potentials of an essentially fluid self, to find absolution in art, and to express an unrestrained female sexualitysee, for instance, the erotic stories in Delta of Venus (1977) and Little Birds (1979)Nin's Diary stands as a unique, massive, psychological document of a woman's life in the 20th century.

Nin read and defended D. H. Lawrence in her first book, An Unprofessional Study (1932), and had an incestuous reunion with her father in 1933. Confused by her eruptive sexual awakening, and after discovering psychoanalysis, Nin initially became a patient of René Allendy, who failed to understand her creative needs. Her next treatment was with Otto Rank, who fell in love with her. In 1934 she followed Rank to New York. She briefly served as his assistant and conducted result-oriented therapy sessions with a number of patients in 1935 and 1936, but eventually returned to Paris and her writing. See, for instance, the story "The Voice" in Winter of Artifice (1939).

Gunther Stuhlmann

See also: Allendy, René Félix Eugène; Rank (Rosenfeld), Otto.

Bibliography

Nin, Anaïs. (1936). The house of incest, a prose poem. Paris: Siana Press.

. (1959). Cities of the interior. Athens, OH: The Swallow Press.

. (1966-80). The diary of Anaïs Nin, 1931-1974. (G. Stuhlman, Ed.) New York: Harcourt, Brace and World.

. (1978-85), The early diary of Anaïs Nin, 1914-1931. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World.

. (1986-96). A journal of love: the unexpurgated diary of Anaïs Nin, 1931-1939. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World.

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Nin, Anaïs

Anaïs Nin (ənī´Ĭs nĬn, nēn), 1903–77, American writer, b. Paris. The daughter of the Spanish composer Joaquín Nin, she came to the United States as a child. She was a psychoanalytic patient of Otto Rank, and a deep concern with the subconscious is evidenced in her work. This is particularly true of her best-known works, her autobiographical diaries, which reveal her psychological and artistic development. These have been published in several collections: early diaries, 1914–31 (4 vol., 1980–85, J. Sherman, ed.); diaries, 1931–74 (7 vol., 1969–81, G. Stuhlmann, ed.); and unexpurgated diaries (4 vol., 1986–96). Nin's fiction, which is noted for its poetic style and searching portraits of women, includes the novels Winter of Artifice (1939) and A Spy in the House of Love (1954). Her published works include her correspondence with Henry Miller (1965); critical works, such as The Novel of the Future (1970); and two volumes of erotica, The Delta of Venus (1977) and Little Birds (1979).

See biography by D. Bair (1995); study by B. L. Knapp (1978).

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Nin, Anaïs

Nin, Anaïs (1903–77) US novelist and diarist, b. France. She was part of the ‘Lost Generation’ of US expatriate writers in Paris during the 1920s. A student of Carl Jung, her novels are psychological studies. They include The House of Incest (1936) and Winter of Artifice (1939). Her diaries (Journals, 1966–80) aroused admiration and controversy. She is best-known for her erotic fiction, including Delta of Venus: Erotica (1977).

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Nin, Anaïs

Anaïs Nin

BORN: 1903, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

DIED: 1977, Los Angeles, California

NATIONALITY: French, American

GENRE: Nonfiction, fiction

MAJOR WORKS:
The Diary of Anaïs Nin (1966–1977)
D. H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study (1932)
Cities of the Interior (1946–1961)
Delta of Venus (1977)

Overview

Anaïs Nin gained international fame with the publication of seven volumes of unabashedly introspective and candid diaries laced with fiction. In addition to her diaries, Nin also wrote novels, short stories, and erotica, all of which reflect her attention to physical details along with the effects of sensuality on her characters. Bold, innovative, and determined, Nin's work transcends conventional standards and calls for an expanded definition of literary art. By challenging the impediments of literary form and genre, Nin was able to explore methods of expression that allowed some understanding of the individual's hidden psyche.

Works in Biographical and Historical Context

A Cosmopolitan Childhood Anaïs Nin was born on February 21, 1903, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a suburb of Paris, to Joaquin and Rosa Culmell de Nin. As a result of her father's travels as a concert pianist and composer, Nin lived a cosmopolitan childhood, visiting various

European capital cities, until her father deserted the family in 1914. Nin's mother relocated from Barcelona to New York City that summer, a move that prompted Nin to begin a diary as a letter to her father. Begun when she was eleven, this “letter” would continue throughout the rest of her life and become an important record not only of the development of a feminine tradition in literature, but also of the creative process.

Independent Adolescence and Romantic Affairs Precocious and energetic, Nin largely educated herself during adolescence, reading in public libraries and writing in her journal, in which she carried on an imaginative relationship with her absent father. In her late teens, she studied art and often worked as a model for artists and photographers. When she was eighteen, Nin fell in love with Hugh Guiler, a banker she married in Havana, Cuba, two years later. Despite Nin's numerous affairs and her bigamous marriage to Rupert Cole, her union with Guiler lasted more than fifty years.

Art and Entanglement

Nin's ambition to be a writer was supported by Guiler: Under the name Ian Hugo, he illustrated Nin's books. When she was twenty-two, Nin and Guiler settled in Paris, and Nin briefly reunited with her father. The artistic atmosphere of Paris provided Nin the opportunity to free herself from social convention in order to develop as a writer, and she worked on an assortment of projects during the 1920s and 1930s that never reached fruition as novels, but appeared piecemeal as prose poems, novellas, and short stories. Despite her attempts at fiction, Nin's first significant literary contribution was D. H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study, a work that reveals Nin's struggle for aesthetic realization on her own terms. In fact, in responding to the fiction of Lawrence, Nin describes what she herself would do as a novelist instead of what Lawrence had done, in essence preparing for the emergence of her own fiction.

Work Banned as Pornographic Nevertheless, it was almost five years after her study of Lawrence that Nin found her voice in fiction. During these years, Nin became intimately involved with American writer Henry Miller, whose works were banned in England and the United States as pornographic. Authors like Miller and Nin played a key role in advancing what later became known as the sexual revolution of the Western world. In 1961 Miller challenged existing obscenity laws in the United States with publication of Tropic of Cancer; a legal battle ensued and, ultimately, Miller's work was labeled a work of literature and freed subsequent novels from similar legal constraints. Nin became involved with Miller's wife, June, and psychotherapist Otto Rank. With suggestions from Henry Miller and Rank, Nin produced The House of Incest (1936) and The Winter of Artifice (1939), both intense, original, and poetic, but neither of them novels. While The House of Incest is clearly influenced by surrealism, and explores the human psyche through dreams, The Winter of Artifice thinly disguises real people and situations from Nin's diary. “Lilith,” for example, is the story of a disappointing reunion between a woman and the father who had deserted her in her childhood, while “Djuna” tells of a love triangle that parallels the relationship between Nin and Henry and June Miller depicted in Nin's diary.

Artistic Freedom In the early 1940s, Nin moved to New York, where commercial publishers were unresponsive to her writing. Dedicated to her art, she sought readership by establishing the Gemor Press and printing her work at her own expense. Her first Gemor publication, a shortened version of The Winter of Artifice, captured the attention of poet William Carlos Williams, who praised Nin's quest for a female approach to writing that showed art, not activism. As Nin continued to explore how she could unify narrative fragments without restricting them to a central plot as did traditional novels, Gemor Press issued This Hunger, a work that helped land her a contract with the E. P. Dutton publishing company.

Tired of life in New York, Nin moved to California in 1946, settling into an environment of artistic freedom that was less frantic and confining than New York or Paris. Between 1946 and 1961, Nin published Cities ofthe Interior, which she described as a “continuous novel.” The work is composed of five parts: Ladders to Fire (1946), Children of the Albatross (1947), The FourChambered Heart (1950), A Spy in the House of Love (1954), and Seduction of the Minotaur (1961). Early in the Cities of the Interior series, Nin became more sure of herself as a writer who could not be bound by convention.

Life in a Collage

Published in 1964, Collages was Nin's self-proclaimed last novel. Most of the stories in the work involve a single character who is the common thread in a series of vignettes that reinforce Nin's view of creative freedom. Collages is the most autobiographical of her fiction, as characters' real-life counterparts are not concealed, and the factual events recorded in Nin's diaries are embellished with fictional elements. As such, Collages paved the way for the publication of Nin's diary volumes, beginning in 1966. The last volumes of her diaries appeared posthumously in the 1980s, after Nin's death from cancer on January 14, 1977, as did two collections of erotic pieces, Delta of Venus (1977) and Little Birds (1979).

Works in Literary Context

Nin's work, particularly her novels and short stories, are significantly influenced by surrealism, a movement founded in Paris in the 1920s by artists devoted to exploring irrationality and the unconscious. In addition, the textual experiments of such modernists as Virginia Woolf and D. H. Lawrence, whose narrative techniques included expressionistic and stream-of-consciousness narration, helped shape Nin's writing. Perhaps the most powerful influence on Nin was the literary partnership she had with Henry Miller. Despite their differences in both personal and professional matters—Nin was elegant and sensual, Miller crude and sexual; Nin's writing was implicit, Miller's explicit—the two inspired and provided valuable feedback for each other for more than three decades. In addition to Miller, Woolf, and Lawrence, Nin enjoyed the influence of other authors including Marcel Proust, André Gide, Jean Cocteau, Paul Valéry, and Arthur Rimbaud.

Transformation Although Nin's diaries have led to her being criticized as a narcissist, such charges seem unsubstantiated in light of her psychological insight, the feminist perspective of her works, and her quest for selfknowledge. More than a recurring theme, Nin's preoccupation with personal creation—specifically, that of the female psyche—marks her diaries and novels alike. An optimist in a world of psychological desolation, Nin contended that individuals are obligated to pursue completeness, even though the journey is difficult and one's success not guaranteed.

Nin used the word “transformation” to describe the conversion of a negative situation into a positive experience, an act she believed every individual has the power to do by changing external circumstances to suit one's personal needs. In all of Nin's fiction, characters have opportunities to solve their problems by being resourceful and creative. Her work explores the psychological barriers women face and the importance of overcoming those obstacles in order to reach a state of inner peace in their personal lives. In Cities of the Interior, for example, the female faces a basic duality: the compulsion to please and nurture others as opposed to her own self-fulfillment. Unlike women in her erotica, however, the female characters in Cities of the Interior are rendered psychologically powerless by this situation.

LITERARY AND HISTORICAL CONTEMPORARIES

Nin's famous contemporaries include:

Tennessee Williams (1911–1983): American playwright who based many of his works, including A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), on his family experiences.

Jackson Pollock (1912–1956): A key figure in Abstract Expressionism and avant-garde art in America after World War II.

Doris Lessing (1919–): In The Golden Notebook (1962), Lessing compartmentalizes life by approaching experience from different fictional perspectives, including parody and political documentation.

W. H. Auden (1907–1973): British-born poet who, like Nin, spent much of his later professional life in the United States.

Lázaro Cárdenas (1895–1970): President of Mexico from 1934 to 1940, Cárdenas is known for his attempts to carry out the social and economic goals of the Mexican Revolution.

Irving Berlin (1888–1989): American composer who wrote the lyrics to countless classic songs, including “God Bless America.”

Eroticism Although Nin believed that eroticism had its place in literature, she opposed completely focusing on sexuality at the expense of literary merit. At risk of not being taken seriously as a writer, Nin, aware that American literature was lacking female sexual expression, intended for her work to describe sexual experience from a woman's point of view as an avenue of learning about the nature of the true self and transcending ordinary life. Whereas all five parts of Cities of the Interior accentuate the sexual experiences of her main characters, their eroticism is not gratuitous; instead, like all other worthwhile experiences, sexuality leads to self-knowledge. Although far from popular Nin was influential in that she tested the social norms of sexuality in the context of literature, challenging previous definitions of acceptability.

Works in Critical Context

With the exception of Edmund Wilson's favorable review of Under a Glass Bell in the New Yorker, response to Nin's work was generally hostile or indifferent. Certainly for many years she was neglected as a serious writer by critics as well as readers, garnering only a few books of criticism through the years. With the publication of the first volume of her diary in 1966, combined with the women's movement of the 1970s, Nin's readership grew; however, focus was almost solely on the diaries, not her fiction.

Criticism of Novels When her first three novels were reissued in 1974, the few positive reviews Nin received for her poetic style and psychological insights were overshadowed by voices of disapproval. Called tedious, abstract, and obscure, Nin's writing was further attacked as intrusive and editorial in its narrative. Her characters, according to some critics, were unattractively self-absorbed.

In Anaïs Nin and the Discovery of Inner Space (1962), scholar Oliver Evans refutes arguments presented by Frank Baldanza in Anaïs Nin (1962) that Nin's writing is merely “pointless, rambling explorations of erotic entanglements and neurotic fears.” Evans, in turn, praises Nin's rhythmic language and psychoanalytic insight. However, Evans evaluates only Nin's fiction. Criticism in the years that have followed is centered on her multivolume diary.

Criticism of Erotica To a great extent, Nin's more recent fame rests on her reputation as a writer of erotica. Much of this attention is the result of the short erotic pieces that were collected and published in the late 1970s as Delta of Venus and Little Birds. Of great interest in 1986 was the appearance of Henry and June: From the Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, which revealed the love triangle involving Nin, Henry Miller, and June Miller. Philip Kaufman adapted this particular section of Nin's diary for his 1990 film Henry and June.

Responses to Literature

  1. Nin's diaries were not originally written with the intention of being published. In this sense, like all diaries, they were not meant to be read in the way her other, crafted work was. In your opinion, is it possible for such work to have literary or artistic merit? If a writer reworks his or her own diaries with an eye toward publication—dramatizing certain elements, improving descriptions, or expanding upon certain insights—does the work lose some of its authenticity as a true living record?
  2. Much of Nin's writing is considered erotic. The same is true of author Henry Miller, with whom Nin had a passionate affair. However, Miller's novel Tropic of Cancer (1934) was widely praised by critics even as it was banned for its obscene content. Nin's work remained largely obscure, with her most explicit writing remaining unpublished for several decades. Do you think this represents a fundamental difference in how male and female writers are perceived by readers, or do you think the difference between the two is based mostly on the difference in literary quality of their work? Could the truth lie somewhere in between? Explain your opinion.
  3. Nin said, “Love never dies a natural death.” What do you think this quote means? How do you think this reflects Nin's own experiences with love in her life?

COMMON HUMAN EXPERIENCE

Even as all seven volumes of Anaïs Nin's diaries record a woman's journey of self-discovery, they also reveal her emphasis on the importance of creativity in an individual's life. Throughout the years, Nin has been a source of inspiration for those who are willing to take professional or personal risks for the sake of art, including the authors of the works below:

Atlas Shrugged (1957), a novel by Ayn Rand. In this lengthy work, Rand explores a variety of themes that, ultimately, she would develop into a philosophy of life, which she later termed “objectivism.”

Our Lady (2001), a painting by Alma Lopez. Mexican-born Lopez outraged many Catholics with her representation of the Virgin Mary wearing a bikini of flowers.

Satanic Verses (1988), a novel by Salman Rushdie. Rushdie earned a fatwa (an edict calling for his death) from the spiritual leader of Iran for this comic allegorical story that continues to earn praise for its satiric artistry as well as its psychological truths and self-consciousness.

Tender Buttons (1933), a poetry collection by Gertrude Stein. Though some considered Stein's linguistic techniques vulgar distortions of the English language, she persisted in developing her own poetic methods.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Books

Bair, Deirdre, Anaïs Nin: A Biography. New York: Putnam, 1995.

Franklin, Benjamin V. and Duane Schneider, Anaïs Nin: An Introduction. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1979.

Hinz, Evelyn J., The Mirror and the Garden: Realism and Reality in the Writings of Anaïs Nin. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973.

Jason, Philip K., Anaïs Nin and Her Critics. Columbia, S.C.: Camden House, 1993.

Scholar, Nancy, Anaïs Nin. Boston: Twayne, 1984.

Periodicals

Baldanza, Frank, “Anaïs Nin.” Minnesota Review 2 (Winter 1962): 263–71.

Web sites

LitWeb. Anaïs Nin Biography and List of Works. Retrieved April 1, 2008, from http://www.litweb.net/biography/445/Anais_Nin.html.

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Nin, Anaïs

NIN, Anaïs

Born 21 February 1903, Paris, France; died 14 January 1977, Los Angeles, California

Daughter of Joaquin and Rosa Culmell Nin; married Hugh P.Guiler, 1923

Anaïs Nin was the eldest of three children of a Spanish composer and concert pianist and a French Danish mother. Nin began keeping a diary after her father's desertion. Her departure with her mother and brothers for New York, her return to Paris, and her home in Louveciennes in the outskirts of Paris were all delineated. Purposely omitted was her marriage to Guiler, a bank and financial consultant who was also known as the engraver and filmmaker Ian Hugo.

D. H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study (1932, 1964,1994) marked Nin's entrée into "creative criticism." Nin was an enemy of naturalism, realism, positivism, and rationalism, which she felt distorted reality; what was of import for her was the catalytic effect of Lawrence's work on the reader's senses and imagination. To know Lawrence, she maintained, was to take a fantastic voyage: to "flow" forward with his characters and situations, to follow their feelings as manifested in impulses and gestures.

Nin's feelings of timidity and inadequacy became so disruptive that in 1932 she consulted the psychiatrist René Allendy, who encouraged her to begin The House of Incest (1936, 1958, 1994). "It is the seed of all my work," Nin wrote, "the poem from which the novels were born." Affinities with Lawrence, Joyce, Woolf, and the surrealists were evident in her reliance upon dream sequences and in her use of stream-of-consciousness style.

Dr. Otto Rank's attitude to the problem of creativity was more to Nin's liking, and she became his patient in 1933. When he moved his offices to New York in 1934, he invited Nin to practice as a lay analyst. Although successful, Nin understood her mission in life was artistic and not therapeutic. She returned to France, where she lived until the outbreak of World War II. Her friends included Miller, Artaud, Brancusi, Supervielle, Orloff, Durrell, Breton, Dali, Barnes, Young, Varèse, Varda, and many more.

In New York, artistic and financial setbacks had encouraged Nin to print her own works: Winter of Artifice: Three Novelettes (1939, 1991) and Under a Glass Bell (1947, 1995). To probe her heroine's dream world in Winter of Artifice, Nin chose the antinovel technique, with its pastiches, repetitions, omissions, and ellipses, instead of the structured characters and plot of the psychological novel. After 20 years of separation, Djuna is reunited with her father, whom she idolized. Valescure, in the south of France, is the idyllic setting for their meeting. Moments of ecstasy, when Djuna perceives herself as her father's "mystical bride," give way to periods of depression, when she realizes her Prince Charming is an illusion, that in reality he is superficial, luxury-loving, and lives for externals only. Under a Glass Bell, a collection of 13 short stories, is considered among the best of Nin's fictional works.

Cities of the Interior (1959), a "continuous novel," includes six short works: Ladders to Fire (1946, 1991), Children of the Albatross (1947), The Four-Chambered Heart (1950), A Spy in the House of Love (1954, 1982, 1995), Solar Barque (1958), and Seduction of the Minotaur (1961, 1993). Labeled "space fiction," Cities of the Interior is centered in the unconscious, upon clusters of visual configurations. In this inner space, characters confront, respond, act, and react to each other like multiple satellites. Nin's deepening psychological acumen and intuitive faculties, her heightened powers of observation are brought into play in the recording of minute vibrations in nuanced and contrapuntal relationships.

Ladders to Fire focuses on Lilian, a jazz pianist, a "woman at war with herself." Her hypertense, excitable nature is associated with the instrument she plays. Children of the Albatross deals with the private world of children, its arcane rituals and innocent cruelties. The Four-Chambered Heart focuses on Djuna and a handsome Peruvian guitar player named Rango, who live out their passionate encounter on a houseboat on the Seine. A Spy in the House of Love is set in New York, not Paris. For the first time, the protagonists deal with questions of freedom and guilt, as they develop a new set of values. Solar Barque and Seduction of the Minotaur take place where the sun "painted everything with gold." In a hedonistic realm, Lilian learns that escape is no longer possible, that she must seek out the minotaur within her own labyrinth (psyche) and face these sides of her personality with strength and vigor. Collages (1964), a combination of portraits, short stories, and a novella, abounds in alchemical symbolism that adds dimension, beauty, and a mystical quality to the narratives.

The Diary of Anaïs Nin (7 vols., 1966-78) is a "woman's journey of self-discovery," which Henry Miller placed "beside the revelations of St. Augustine, Petronius, Abélard, Rousseau, Proust." The Diary is a historical document in that it reports and deals with events chronologically. It is of psychological import because it analyzes inner scapes (dreams, reveries, motivations) and a variety of approaches to the unconscious; it is of aesthetic significance because it introduces readers to the world of the novelist, poet, musician, painter, and the artistic trends of the day: cubism, realism, surrealism, op, pop, and minimal art. The Diary is a quest: that of the artist attempting to understand the creative factor within herself; of the woman experiencing her multidimensional selves as she works toward inner growth and fulfillment.

The sixth volume (1955-1966) focuses on Nin's decision to publish her Diary, to reveal her innermost thoughts and to remain strong enough to stand the ridicule and the hurt of an unfeeling public. Nin, who leans heavily on her unconscious to lead the way in the workaday world, made her decision following a dream. It begins: "I opened my front door and was struck by mortal radiation."

It was with her Diary that Nin won an international reputation. She was called upon to lecture throughout North America at universities, poetry centers, and clubs. Nin synthesized and elaborated her earlier statements of her artistic credo—Realism and Reality (1946)—in The Novel of the Future (1968), in which she endorses the dictum of C. G. Jung: "Proceed from the Dream Outward."

Nin's writings express an inner need; truth shaped and fashioned into an art form. Thought, feeling, and dream are captured in metaphors, images, and alliterations, which are inter-woven in complex designs. The techniques of free association and reverie enable her to penetrate the inner being, evoke a mood, and arouse sensations in an impressionistic and pointilliste manner. Nin's work offers readers perpetual transmutations of matter and spirit. Hers is a very personal, authentic, and innovative talent, unique in her time.

Other Works:

On Writing (1947). A Woman Speaks: The Lectures, Seminars, and Interviews of Anaïs Nin (1975, 1992). In Favor of the Sensitive Man, and Other Essays (1976, 1994). Delta of Venus: Erotica (1977, 1996). Waste of Timelessness, and other Early Stories (1977, 1993). Linotte: The Early Diary of Anaïs Nin (1978, 1994). Journal of a Wife (1983). Letters to a Friend in Australia (1992). Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller, 1932-1953 (1992). The Mystic of Sex and Other Writings (1995). Stories of Love (1996). White Stains (1998).

Bibliography:

Bair, D., Anaïs Nin: A Biography (1995). Barille, E., Anaïs Nin: Naked under the Mask (1992). Chadwick, W. and I. De Courtivron, eds., Significant Others: Creativity & Intimate Partnership (1996). Cutting, R. M., Anaïs Nin: A Reference Guide (1978). Evans, O., Anaïs Nin (1968). Fitch, N. R., Anaïs: The Erotic Life of Anaïs Nin (1993). Franklin, B., ed., Recollections of Anaïs Nin (1996). Franklin, V. B., and D. Schneider, Anaïs Nin: An Introduction (1979). Harms, V., ed., Celebration with Anaïs Nin (1973). Hinz, J. E., The Mirror and the Garden (1971). Hinz, J. E., A Woman Speaks: The Lectures, Seminars, and Interviews of Anaïs Nin (1975). Hinz, J. E., The World of Anaïs Nin (1978). Holt, R. L., Anaïs Nin: An Understanding of Her Art (1997). Jason, P. K., ed., The Critical Response to Anaïs Nin (1996). Knapp, B. L., Anaïs Nin (1979). Nalbantian, S., ed., Anaïs Nin: Literary Perspectives (1997). Porter, B., "I Pursue Her Still": Bern Porter on Anaïs Nin (1997). Porter, B., My Affair with Anaïs Nin: A Candid Interview (1996). Richard-Allerdyce, D., Anaïs Nin and the Remaking of Self: Gender, Modernism, and Narrative Identity (1998). Scholar, N., Anaïs Nin (1984). Spencer, S., Collage of Dreams (1977). Zaller, R., ed., A Casebook on Anaïs Nin (1974).

Reference works:

American Novelists Since World War II: Fourth Series (1995). FC (1990). Oxford Companion to Women's Writing in the United States (1995). Short Story Criticism (1992).

—BETTINA L. KNAPP

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Nin, Anaïs

NIN, Anaïs

NIN, Anaïs (b. 21 February 1903; d. 14 January, 1977), writer.

Anaïs Nin was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. Her father abandoned the family when she was ten years old. The following year, her mother moved the family to New York, where Nin lived until 1925. During the voyage to New York, Nin began her diary. Over the next fifty years, she would write over 150 volumes.

In 1923, Nin met Hugh Guiler. They married in 1925, and moved to Paris where Guiler worked in finance. Nin was at first shocked by the greater French openness in matters of sexuality and dedicated herself to being a loyal wife. At the same time, she continued to read novels that provided her with other models of relationships and began to feel frustrated with the lack of artistic ambition in her husband. In 1931, Nin met the writer Henry Miller and his wife June. Nin was captivated by June, and the two women began a passionate friendship. After June left Paris, Nin and Henry began an affair that was both sexual and creative, as the two writers shared their work and their ideas. In 1940, Nin returned with her husband to New York. She continued her affairs with men and in 1947 met Rupert Pole. When Pole moved to California that same year, Nin, dividing her time between the two men, began a bicoastal life that continued until her death.

Nin published her first works in the 1930s. Her study, D.H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study (1932) sought to emphasize the "feminine" element in the controversial writer's work. The House of Incest (1936), a novel, explored a major theme in Nin's work and life: the search for the self through relationships with another. Over the next forty years, Nin published several more works of fiction as well as multiple volumes of her diary.

Early critics regarded much of Nin's work as scandalous, both for its open treatment of women's sexuality and for its focus on women's inner lives. They also criticized the influence of surrealism on her work and the excessive "femininity" of her writing style. Her novels were not widely available until the 1950s. Her reputation as a writer grew in the 1960s, as critics and readers became more receptive to her style and subject matter. The publication of the first volume of her diary (which covers the years 1931–1934) in 1966 gained her praise and celebrity.

In the 1930s, Nin underwent psychoanalysis. The impact this had on her can be seen in her fiction and her diaries, both of which are concerned with exploring how the individual persona, one often influenced by the demands of society and culture, masks the true self underneath. Nin believed that an examination of the inner life could lead to the revelation and realization of the true self.

This emphasis on the inner life runs throughout Nin's work. Nin appeared to explore her own inner life not only in her diaries, but in her fiction as well, much of which drew its inspiration from the diaries. The continued examination of her life served as an inspiration for women in the late 1960s and 1970s when Nin's work was seen as a model for the sorts of questions women were asking in consciousness-raising groups.

While feminist discussion of Nin in the 1970s emphasized the authenticity of Nin's struggle for self-discovery, some have since argued that the diaries are highly fictionalized. Others, including feminists, have criticized Nin for an excessive concern with the inner life and a lack of interest in larger political and economic struggles.

In several of her fictional works, in her diaries, and in her life, Nin explored the topic of homosexuality. She examined the relationship between male homosexuals and female heterosexuals, a relationship that she saw as being based in a mutual rejection of authority. She also explored lesbianism, most notably in Ladders to Fire (1946). Claimed by some to be based on her relationship with June Miller, this work tells the story of two women who seek in each other that which they are missing. Nin described this impulse as a search for "twinship" and saw it as part of an attempt to understand one's true self. Nin insisted, however, that relationships with women could never substitute for having to come to terms with the "other," that is, the man. At the same time, she argued that one should be free to love whomever one wished.

Bibliography

Bair, Deirdre. Anaïs Nin: A Biography. New York: Putnam, 1995.

Fitch, Noël Riley. Anaïs: The Erotic Life of Anaïs Nin. Boston: Little, Brown, 1993.

Zaller, Robert, ed. A Casebook on Anaïs Nin. New York: New American Library, 1974.

Victoria E. Thompson

see alsoliterature.

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Nin, Anaïs

NIN, Anaïs

Nationality: American. Born: Paris, France, 21 February 1903; moved to the U.S. in 1914; later became U.S. citizen. Education: John Jasper Elementary School, New York, 1914-18. Family: Married Hugh Guiler (also called Ian Hugo) in 1924(?). Career: Fashion and artist's model, 1918-20; lived in Paris, 1930-40; established Siana Editions, Paris, 1935; moved to New York, 1940, and established Gemor Press. Member: American Academy. Died: 14 January 1977.

Publications

Short Stories

The Winter of Artifice (novella). 1939.

Under a Glass Bell. 1944; augmented edition, as Under a Glass Bell and Other Stories, 1948.

This Hunger (novellas). 1945.

Waste of Timelessness and Other Early Stories. 1977.

The White Blackbird and Other Writings, with The Tale of an Old Geisha and Other Stories by Kanoko Okamoto. 1985.

A Model and Other Stories. 1995.

Stories of Love. 1996.

Novels

The House of Incest (prose poem). 1936.

Ladders to Fire. 1946.

Children of the Albatross. 1947.

The Four-Chambered Heart. 1950.

A Spy in the House of Love. 1954.

Solar Barque. 1958; expanded edition as Seduction of the Minotaur, 1961.

Cities of the Interior (collection). 1959; expanded edition, 1974.

Collages. 1964.

Delta of Venus: Erotica. 1977.

Little Birds: Erotica. 1979.

Other

D. H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study. 1932.

Realism and Reality. 1946.

On Writing. 1947.

The Diary, edited by Gunther Stuhlmann. 6 vols., 1966-76; as The

Journals, 6 vols., 1966-77; A Photographic Supplement, 1974.

The Novel of the Future. 1968.

Unpublished Selections from the Diary. 1968.

Nuances. 1970.

An Interview with Nin, by Duane Schneider. 1970.

Paris Revisited. 1972.

Nin Reader, edited by Philip K. Jason. 1973.

A Woman Speaks: The Lectures, Seminars, and Interviews of Nin, edited by Evelyn J. Hinz. 1975.

In Favor of the Sensitive Man and Other Essays. 1976.

Aphrodisiac, with John Boyce. 1978.

Linotte: The Early Diary 1914-1920. 1978; The Early Diary 1920-1931, 3 vols., 1982-85.

Henry and June: From the Unexpurgated Diary. 1986.

A Literate Passion: Letters of Nin and Henry Miller 1932-1953, edited by Gunther Stuhlmann. 1987.

Incest: From A Journal of Love: The Unexpurgated Diary of Nin 1932-24. 1992.

Journal of a Wife. 1993.

Conversations with Anaïs Nin. 1994.

The Mystic of Sex and Other Writings. 1995.

Fire: From A Journal of Love: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1934-1937. 1995.

Arrows of Longing: The Correspondence between Anaïs Nin and Felix Pollak, 1952-1976. 1998.

*

Bibliography:

Nin: A Bibliography by Benjamin Franklin V, 1973; Nin: A Reference Guide by Rose Marie Cutting, 1978.

Critical Studies:

Nin by Oliver Evans, 1968; The Mirror and the Garden: Realism and Reality in the Writings of Nin by Evelyn J. Hinz, 1971; A Casebook on Nin edited by Robert Zaller, 1974; Collage of Dreams: The Writings of Nin by Sharon Spencer, 1977; Nin: An Introduction by Benjamin Franklin V and Duane Schneider, 1979; Nin by Bettina L. Knapp, 1979; Nin by Nancy Scholar, 1984;Anaïs: The Erotic Life of Anaïs Nin by Noel Riley Fitch, 1993; Anaïs Nin: A Biography by Deirdre Bair, 1995; Anaïs Nin and the Remaking of Self: Gender, Modernism, and Narrative Identity by Diane Richard-Allerdyce, 1998.

* * *

Although the publication of Anaïs Nin's Diary elevated her to the status of a cult figure in the late 1960s, she had long been admired by a coterie of American and European avant-garde artists who recognized her talents as a writer of lyrical, experimental fiction and short stories. Lawrence Durrell, Henry Miller, Edmund Wilson, Maxwell Geismer, and William Carlos Williams all celebrated Nin for her "authentic female approach." Williams delighted in what he called her ability to express "infinity in the single cell … she harbors, warms, and implants that it may proliferate." Writers like Rebecca West and Djuna Barnes were startled by Nin's capacity to set herself up to serve the genius of some other man while her own talents were so often much stronger and more sure than the talents of those she worshipped. Elizabeth Hardwick and Diane Trilling were more severe. Hardwick called Under a Glass Bell "vague, dreamy, mercilessly pretentious; the sickly child of distinguished parents—the avant garde of the twenties—and unfortunately a great bore."

Study of the many versions of her life that she has offered in different forms—the short story, the novelette, the reweaving and republication of the novelettes into her continuous novel, Cities of the Interior, and, of course, her amazing diaries—shows how obsessively narcissistic she was, and yet also affords fascinating material for the scholar of the creative process. Close comparisons of the multiple versions of the same kernel event or the multiple attempts to describe the significant people in her life offer evidence of her craft. Many of Nin's early male critics mythologized her, explicating her work in terms of Freudian and Jungian concepts. Her detractors, often female, found her narcissism annoying, if not unbearable. A reexamination of her writings almost 50 years after many of the stories were first written serves her well. She is frank, fascinated with the theatrical construction of multiple selves, and concerned with craft and the intermingling of the arts. Her struggle with issues of gender, control, and sexuality make her writing of particular interest to women. The magical quality of her imaginings and her arduous journeys through psychological interiorities are well worth attention.

Her stories, at their best, are marked by keen powers of observation and an ability to write two kinds of prose: one a lyrical, transcendent sort of verbal alchemy, rich in its sensuous detail and musical in its sounds and rhythms; the other a realistic, almost naturalistic prose describing ragpickers, or orphans, or the Parisian prostitutes, much more in the manner of a realist than a surrealist. Influenced by Martha Graham's style and mise-en-scéne, Nin frequently sets her characters dancing, sometimes narcissistically and, as in The House of Incest, without arms, at other times flamboyantly, doing the cancan. One of her most remarkable musical passages occurs in her novelette "Winter of Artifice," from the collection of stories by the same name. A comparison of the account of her relationship with her father as rendered in this particular story against the version offered in the unexpurgated diary Incest shows that Nin has created this highly lyrical, fantastical prose style full of synesthesia to replace the explicit language she uses in the diary to describe her sexual intercourse with her father. Nin often complained that women writers had not had a chance to invent the language of sex and the senses. She admits that her pornographic writings were largely written to fulfill a male formula; but she does experiment with a language of the erotic in her short stories. Her brilliant description of the orchestra in which a woman draws a bow across her public hairs is one of her most successful attempts to find a symbol and language to register the complicated sexual feelings that her relationship with her father had aroused.

The publication of both Henry and June (which led to a movie of that title) and Incest testify to an enduring appetite for her diaries. Narcissistic and often embarrassingly badly written, these latest diaries nonetheless offer intriguing insights into Nin's theatricality and processes of self-construction. Henry Miller rightly praised Nin for the frankness of her talk about sexuality. More importantly, these unexpurgated diaries remove some of the mystery that enshrouded her personal and sexual life: her affair with both Henry Miller and his wife June and with both her analysts, Dr. Allendy and Otto Rank, as well as with many artists. Her story "Je Suis La Plus Malade des Surrealistes" in Under a Glass Bell is based on her affair with artist Antonin Artaud. The diaries also clarify the nature of her unwanted pregnancy with Miller's child (although there is a possibility that her husband, Hugh Guiler, is the father) and her dangerous surgical abortion coming in the sixth month of her pregnancy. Again, a story, "Birth," grew out of this experience. Printed as the closing story in Under a Glass Bell, it is little different from the version she recorded in her diary. These published diaries also disclose much more fully and explicitly the circumstances of her sexual relationship with her father, which began in 1933 and concluded, or so she wants us to believe, with her punishing dismissal and neglect of the Don Juan father whose combination of cruelty and love had wrought such damage on her hypersensitive, highly imaginative nature.

These unexpurgated diaries show Nin as a Scheherazade, enthralling her lovers with her tales of her sexuality to stave off the moment when she fears they will abandon her. Ever manipulative and emotionally needy and yet intellectually cunning, Nin claims to have seduced her father by telling him of Allendy's whipping of her—"flagellation" as she wants to call it—as a means to possess her sexually in ways no other of her lovers or husband will permit.

She charts the feelings of anger as well as bitter amusement that this whipping has caused her, permanently altering her feelings about Allendy, making him in some ways too ridiculous to sustain the fictions about him that she has created in order to make him the suitable lover and protector that she always seeks. She moves away from Allendy and seeks out Otto Rank in order to explore the incest with her father. Later she reports with candor that Allendy blames her for luring him into this perverse fantasy and goading him on to literally enact it upon her. Her own self-construction in the Diary leads this reader to suspect he is partially correct, but it is difficult to justify either Rank's or Allendy's affair with a patient. Nin, however, always seems to know that she has sought out these analytic figures in order to make conquests of them and give her material for her books. As she says in Incest: "I am interested not in the physical possession but in the game, as Don Juan was, the game of seduction, of maddening, of possessing men not only physically but their souls, too—I demand more than the whores." She needs them but she also uses them, giving herself a live auditor for her words and creations to supplement the audience afforded by her diary.

Scholars often talk of the continental influences upon Nin's writings—Proust, Artaud, and Jung—but Nin insisted on being compared with women artists and image-makers, with Jane Austen, George Eliot, Amy Lowell, Ruth Draper, Djuna Barnes, and Virginia Woolf, as well as with feminine men such as D. H. Lawrence. For Nin these women writers, along with Madame de Stael and George Sand, were "absolute self-created individualities." Nin's stories and the stories-recast-as-novels testify to her powers of self-creation. Her women, either herself, thinly disguised as an unnamed narrator, or her characters, Djuna, Stella, Lillian, Sabina, and the others, afford her the opportunity to explore women's dreams and fantasies. Her vocabulary of dreams—the mirror in the garden, labyrinths, the houseboat, ladders, and the four elements of water, air, earth, and fire—all give her access to realms of the unconscious and allow her to probe relationships. Her stories at their finest, such as "Houseboat," or "Ragpicker," "Winter of Artifice," or "Birth," are marked by the originality of her imagination and her economy of style.

—Carol Simpson Stern

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Nin, Anaïs

NIN, Anaïs

(b. 21 February 1903 in Neuilly, France; d. 14 January 1977 in Los Angeles, California), noted writer best known for her infamous Diary of Anaïs Nin, the first volume of which appeared in 1966.

Nin's official name at birth was Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell, but everyone called her Anaïs. She was the only daughter and oldest of three children of Joaquin Nin y Castellanos, a Spanish composer and pianist, and Rosa (Culmell) de Nin, a singer of French and Danish descent. Nin spent her early childhood in France, but after her father abandoned the family, she moved with her mother and brothers to New York City in 1914. During the journey to America, Nin began recording her thoughts, feelings, and observations in a collection of letters she intended to send to her father to lure him to America. Her mother dissuaded her from sending them, saying they were too valuable. These letters would eventually form the basis for her Diary.

Once settled in the United States, Nin enrolled in public school but disliked its rigid structure and discipline. She dropped out in her teens after a teacher suggested that she use less literary and more colloquial language. She continued her self-education by reading voraciously. After a brief stint as a model, Nin married the banker Hugh Guiler in 1923 and moved to Louveciennes, a suburb of Paris. There she wrote her first book, D. H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study (1932), which attracted the attention of the novelist Henry Miller, a man who would leave an indelible mark on her life and writings. After reading her Diary, Miller recognized its literary potential. When World War II began, Nin and her husband returned to the United States, where she continued writing. No publisher would print her works, so she bought a printing press and published them herself. The critic Edmund Wilson praised Under a Glass Bell (1944), but except for that plaudit Nin struggled to gain recognition. In 1952 Nin became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Her luck changed in the early 1960s when Alan Swallow, an independent publisher, agreed to reprint several of her novels in an omnibus edition. While this effort went virtually unnoticed by critics and sold few copies, her Collages, which appeared in 1964, fared better with readers and was even chosen by Time magazine as one of the best books of that year. That same year Nin's work created quite a stir on the international front. The French translation of one of her early novels, A Spy in the House of Love, appeared, and Nin became an overnight celebrity. Marguerite Duras, a French novelist and filmmaker, expressed an interest in adapting the novel for the screen, but the project never materialized, leaving Nin disappointed and in need of money. A Spy in the House of Love appeared in English as one of five parts of Cities of the Interior (1961), Nin's most ambitious and critically admired work besides her Diaries.

Nin then turned her energy and attention to her diaries and submitted a heavily edited draft of part of the document to publishers. This time Harcourt Brace showed interest, agreeing to publish the first volume, which covered Nin's years in Paris from 1931 to 1934. Her editor insisted that she edit the work yet more extensively, and she complied. But editing was never an easy task for Nin, and this time her job was complicated because many people, her husband included, objected to being mentioned in the text and asked to be removed. When the first volume appeared in 1966, it was hailed by many critics as a significant literary achievement. Jean Garrigue, writing for the New York Times Book Review, was particularly impressed. She described it as a "rich, various and fascinating work." Readers agreed and were attracted to the work's poetic fluidity, vivid descriptions of the Parisian art scene of the 1930s, insightful portraits of friends and acquaintances, and the delicate expression of Nin's preoccupations and feelings and her journey toward self-discovery.

Nin's life took on new meaning after Diary appeared. The fame and recognition in America, for which she had so desperately yearned, finally had become a reality. People all over the country asked her to give lectures, grant interviews, and attend book signings. She honored many of these requests, but she also spent time socializing and responding to the massive amount of mail she received. The rest of Nin's time was spent traveling. She commuted regularly between her homes in New York and Los Angeles, trying to maintain two separate existences. This double life was necessary because Nin was a bigamist, having secretly married Rupert William Pole in 1955. She had kept this secret from her unsuspecting husbands for more than a decade, but now her celebrity and the strain of duplicity became too much. Nin told Pole the truth, and their marriage was officially annulled in 1966. Their relationship remained intact, however, and Pole lived with Nin until she died. (Nin never had children by either husband.)

In 1967 and 1969 Nin saw the second and third volumes of her Diary printed. With each volume, critical opinion was increasingly unfavorable, and sales were poor at best. Nin's enthusiasm and commitment to her art remained constant, however, and she tirelessly promoted her Diary at every opportunity. When the paperback edition of the Diary appeared in 1973, sales were brisk. The public, it seemed, was still intrigued by Nin and wanted to know more about her. They were given more that same year in the documentary film Anaïs Observed, produced by Robert Synder.

Although she had cancer in the last years of her life, Nin kept up a frenetic schedule. She traveled, made personal appearances, granted interviews, gave talks, and even taught, and her work and literary accomplishments did not go unrecognized. In 1974 she was inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. In 1976 the Los Angeles Times named her Woman of the Year, and several of her friends—the writers Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrell, and Christopher Isherwood—endorsed her for the Nobel Prize in literature. On 14 January 1977 Nin succumbed to cancer at the Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, California. Memorial services were held in her honor in several cities in the United States. Following her request, she was cremated, and her ashes were scattered at sea.

Nin's novels, which often were filled with strong female protagonists, explored issues as varied as biological impulses, sexual entanglements, psychological angst, self-identity, and the place of women in contemporary society. Her writings struck a resonant chord in the 1960s with many readers. Feminists could identify with Nin and her female protagonists, who tried to find personal and artistic fulfillment in a male-dominated society. The overtly erotic nature of Nin's writings also attracted readers whose sexual attitudes and mores were changing in light of the nascent sexual revolution.

A collection of Nin's diaries, correspondence, manuscripts, and related papers dating from 1903 to 1977 are located at the Department of Special Collections, University Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles. Correspondence and some writings dating from 1969 to 1992 (including correspondence between her publisher and literary agent after her death) are housed at the Department of Special Collections, McFarlin Library, University of Tulsa. Many of Nin's fiction manuscripts are located at the Department of Special Collections, Deering Library, Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois. An excellent biographical work is Deirdre Bair, Anaïs Nin (1995). See also Jean Garrigue, "The Self behind the Selves," New York Times Book Review (24 Apr. 1966). An obituary is in the New York Times (16 Jan. 1977).

Larry Sean Kinder

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