General Literary History: Anais Nin

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RonPrice
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General Literary History: Anais Nin

Postby RonPrice » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:12 pm

ANAIS NIN

Anaïs Nin(1903-1977) first began publishing expurgated versions of The Diary of Anaïs Nin in 1966, the year I graduated from university. She was 63. The editions of her diaries that began to appear omitted many of the more intimate details of her personal and love life. In 1986 after virtually everybody mentioned in her diaries had died, including Nin herself, her widower began to publish what are now termed the unexpurgated versions of Nin’s diary.

These unexpurgated versions of the diaries are more sexually frank than the versions published in the 1960s and 1970s. They also provide a fuller picture of her life. The new material, for example, casts her incestuous relationship with her father and her relationship with writer Henry Miller in new light.

In volume 2 of Nin’s diary, she has just arrived in New York. This volume is filled with the stories of her analytical patients. There is a shift in emphasis in this diary from volume 1 as she becomes aware of the inevitable and complex choices facing the artist in the modern world. Sensitive and frank, this volume of her diary is a dialogue between flesh and spirit, as one reviewer described it. This volume finds this madly scribbling femme fatale trying to get away from her doggedly loyal husband and from adored lover Henry Miller and to indulge her fancy for analyst Otto Rank. Nin is blithely honest about her profound dishonesty, admitting that she loves telling what she calls marvellous lies to the men who desire her.

She tires of Rank just as Miller and her husband catch up with her; then, suddenly, she enters a whole new realm of potent romance with a fiery man of Inca descent, Gonzalo More. Gonzalo More, a man of conscience and lyrical intensity, inspires Nin to new poetic and mystical heights.-The Diary of Anais Nin: Volume 2 or Volume 3 of the unexpurgated edition, American Library Ass’n, 1995.

The unexpurgated volumes are of particular interest to readers of the original published versions in those 1960s and 1970s because they fill in so many puzzling omissions. They are remarkable for their audacity and prolificacy. Just one page of Nin's extraordinary diaries contains more sex, melodrama, fantasies, confessions, and observations than most novels. They also reflect much about the human psyche, a psyche we strive to repress and one we would also like to understand. See, for example, Nearer The Moon: From "A Journal of Love" The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin 1937-1939 with a preface by Rupert Pole, her widower, and with biographical notes and annotations by G. Stuhlmann, Harcourt, Brace & Company, NY, 1996.

Only Leo Tolstoy kept a diary longer than you,(1)
Anais…..His entries were not as erotic as yours
going for all those years of the tempest…Your(2)
Journal of Love written in the first years of the
Plan would still turn our generation on & help(3)
the young at heart find some sense of who they
are as they helped you find out who you were--
at least that was part of the idea, eh Anais, eh??

Such a long road of experimentation, Anais…
trying to put it all together, as we all do in this
changeful life, as the tempest blows harrowing
up the souls on our planet….bewildered, often
so agonized and helpless, they watch...it seems
this great and mighty wind of God sweeping the
face of the earth—its driving power gaining in
range and momentum; its cleansing power……
however much undetected, increasing with
every passing day and humanity gripped in the
clutches of its devastating power….How did you
survive? How did you survive? Dear Anais……

......how on earth did you survive those years….with
so little idea of the origin, outcome or any of the
significance of all that chaos and confusion decade
after decade in that awful twentieth century????(4)

(1) In the complete set of his works the diaries of Tolstoy occupy 13 volumes. He began them in 1847 at the age of 19 and continued making entries until the end of his life in 1910.
(2) Her diaries began at the age of 10 in 1914 on the outbreak of WW1 which, in some ways, saw the beginning of the tempest in modern civilization, a tempest which is far from over.
(3) The formal implementation of Abdul-Baha’is Plan in 1937 by the North American Baha’i community.
(4) There are many estimates, perhaps guesstimates is a better word: 1000 million dead from 1900 to 2000 from wars and a 1000 different slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

Ron Price
19/7/'10 to 2/3/'13.


married for 46 years, a teacher for 35, a writer and editor for 14, and a Baha'i for 54(in 2013)

Marcus Woodhouse
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Re: General Literary History: Anais Nin

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:04 pm

And this relates to re-enactment in what way???


OSTENDE MIHI PECUNIAM!

RonPrice
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Re: General Literary History: Anais Nin

Postby RonPrice » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:07 am

A reenactor is: a person who participates in reenactments of historical events. A person who writes a diary, as extensively as Anias Nin did, reenacts their life every time she puts pen to paper. A diarist is, by definition, a reenactor. I have no trouble with this concept. What's your view?-Ron


married for 46 years, a teacher for 35, a writer and editor for 14, and a Baha'i for 54(in 2013)

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Merlon.
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Re: General Literary History: Anais Nin

Postby Merlon. » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:59 am

With greatest of respect, I doubt your views are relevant to the users of this forum.
I did you the courtesy of looking at your website and frankly found it disturbing...



guthrie
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Re: General Literary History: Anais Nin

Postby guthrie » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:32 pm

Nope, that definition is too broad, and by its defintion makes almost every diarist a re-enactor. Instead, this forum is for people who re-enact historical periods and places, generally playing other people. You could re-enact being Anais Nin, but her re-creating her day in her head as she writes her diary is nothing like what we do. There are also significant helpings of education, historical exploration and the like in re-enactment, which do not in any way take place when writing a diary.



RonPrice
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Re: General Literary History: Anais Nin

Postby RonPrice » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:28 am

I have received a warning from Kate, and I said that I was happy to make all future posts in line with your site conventions on re-enactment. I write a great deal about film and literature reenactments so that should be no problem.-Ron


married for 46 years, a teacher for 35, a writer and editor for 14, and a Baha'i for 54(in 2013)


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