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Nin (nên, nîn),
French-born American writer and diarist known for her novels, including Winter of Artifice (1939), and The Diary of Anaïs Nin 1931-1966 (published 1966-1980).
flesh-arrows . . . traversing the body. A rainbow of color strikes the
eyelids. A foam of music falls over the ears. It is the gong
of the orgasm.
Anaïs Nin (1903-1977), Franco-American novelist, diarist. The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. 2 (1967), entry for Oct. 1937.
I thought I was the quickest the quickest the quickest mind alive and the quickest with words but words cannot catch up with these changes, these changes are beyond words, beyond words, beyond words. While I repeated these words I felt the waves of pleasure like those of the most acute pleasure of lovemaking . . . I felt the impossibility to tell the secret of life because the secret of life was metamorphosis, transmutation, and it happened too quickly, too subtly.
- Anais Nin
After taking LSD in Oscar Janiger's office, the writer Anais Nin developed her own theory about the drug's effect on the creative impulse. She later incorporated her rough notes, which Janiger has saved in his plenary files, into an essay included in The Diary of Anais Nin. "I could find correlations [to the LSD imagery] all through my writing," she wrote, "find the sources of the images in past dreams, in reading, in memories of travel, in actual experience, such as the one I had once in Paris when I was so exalted by life that I felt I was not touching the ground, I felt I was sliding a few inches away from the sidewalk. Therefore, I felt, the chemical did not reveal an unknown world. What it did was to shut out the quotidian world as an interference and leave you alone with your dreams and fantasies and memories. In this way it made it easier to gain access to the subconscious life."
Anaïs Nin (February 21, 1903 - January 14, 1977) was a French author who became famous for her self-published diaries, which span a period of forty years, beginning when she was twelve years old.
Born in Neuilly, France, after her parents separated, her mother moved to New York City with her and her two brothers. While still a teenager, Nin abandoned formal schooling and began working as a model. In 1923, she married Hugh Parker Guiler and the following year they moved to Paris, France where Guiler pursued his banking career and Nin began to pursue her interest in writing, working with people such as D.H. Lawrence.
She is also appreciated for her erotica. She was the first woman to really explore the realm. Before her, erotica written by women was virtually (vide, e.g. Kate Chopin) unheard of.
Nin was a friend of many leading literary figures, including Henry Miller, Edmund Wilson, James Agee, and Lawrence Durrell.
In 1973 she received an honorary doctorate from Philadelphia College of Art. She was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1974. She died of cancer in Los Angeles, California on January 14, 1977, her body was cremated, and her ashes were scattered over Santa Monica Bay.
List of works
* D.H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study
* Winter of Artifice
* Under a Glass Bell
* House of Incest
* Delta of Venus
* Little Birds
* Cities of the Interior, in five volumes:
o Ladders to Fire
o Children of the Albatross
o The Four-Chambered Heart
o A Spy in the House of Love
o Seduction of the Minotaur
* The Diary of Anaïs Nin