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review 2014-10-18 20:54
Incest- From The Journal of Love: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin (1932-1934)
Incest: From a Journal of Love - Anaïs Nin,Rupert Pole,Gunther Stuhlmann

I want to spread myself on lots of paper, turn it into lots of sentences, lots of words so that I won't be walked on.- Anaïs Nin


Nin's Incest is an explosive, emotional confession; an illuminating self analysis and in-depth psychological study of her soul. Relentlessly probing and insightful, Nin details and analyzes dreams and daily events, shedding light on her exhaustive need for love, in part due to the vacuous hole in her psyche left by her father's abandonment of the family when she was still a very young girl. Nin bares naked the sexual and pathological desires not only of herself but of well-known figures to whom she had strong attachments - Henry Miller, Otto Rank, Antonin Artaud, René Allendy , among others - all who seem like father-figures themselves. To Nin, to experience love meant to keep a balance between her independence and interdependence, her singularity and dual nature. Her own assessment of her dual nature is explained with the precision of a professional psychologist, as she describes the controversial liaisons with her estranged father, Joaquin - a self styled Don Juan.


Joaquin: "I had a dream of you which frightened me. I dreamed that you masturbated me with jeweled fingers and that I kissed you like a lover. For the first time in my life I was terrified."


Anaïs: "I also had a dream of you."


"I don't feel toward you as if you were my daughter."


"I don't feel as if you were my Father."


"What a tragedy. What are we going to do about it? I have met the woman of my life, the ideal, and it is my daughter! I cannot even kiss you as I would like to. I'm in love with my own daughter!"


Nin's writing aesthetic is hypnotic: the unrestrained style in which she reports events have both dreamlike and authentic qualities: fantastic yet real, allusive as well as explicit. She dares to write about such tabooed feelings and acts never before printed in women's books. In heated episodes of seduction, she becomes the 'bad' girl her father desires - she becomes in effect his double, a Donna Juana.


"Let me kiss your mouth." He put his arms around me. I hesitated. I was tortured by a complexity of feelings, wanting his mouth, yet afraid, feeling I was to kiss a brother, yet tempted— terrified and desirous. I was taut. We kissed, and that kiss unleashed a wave of desire. I was lying across his body and with my breast I felt his desire, hard, palpitating.

Ecstatic, his face, and I now frenzied with the desire to unite with him ... undulating, caressing him, clinging to him. His spasm was tremendous, of his whole being. He emptied all of himself in me ... and my yielding was immense, with my whole being, with only that core of fear which arrested the supreme spasm in me.


Nin acknowledges that she tortuously embraced the role of seducer to her padre -amour in order in the end to hurt Joaquin.  Incest is a salacious confession in which Nin has laid herself widely opened like French doors on the balcony of the world - and oh, what a view!


Relationship was impossible unless one gave the most secret and deepest part of oneself...
The diary is not a Recherche du Temps Perdu. It is actually a seeking to unite the past, the present, and the future. My life today is just as it was when I was writing the diary; it is always very full and very rich. I'm always exploring new realms of experience, I'm always curious, I'm always ready for adventure.
- Anaïs Nin, A Woman Speaks.


Recommended to prudes and open minded alike. 

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review 2014-08-16 04:44
Fire from 'A Journal of Love' (1934-1938) by Anaïs Nin
Fire: From "A Journal of Love" The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1934-1937 - Anaïs Nin




...following one's instincts alone is human, that faithfulness in love is unnatural, that morality is man-made ideology, that self-denial, which is necessary to be good, is denial of the bad natural self out of self-protection, and thus the most selfish thing of all.




Anaïs Nin (1903-1977) began her diaries at age 11 years old as a personal letter to the father who deserted her, her mother and brother.  It became a necessary part of her existence, written with melodic lyricism of sex and love. Worked and reworked into a hefty fifty year record, it took the shape of a hybridized art form, serving as a confessional and confidante, a scribbler's notebook, an extremely candid autobiography, a self-research project, and to those who knew her personally, a literary monument interspersed with fiction; leaving many critics to call it a 'journal-novel.'



Fire flows like a continuous intimate moment focused on the many facets of love, covering Nin's multiple romantic relationships from Hugh Guiler (her husband), simultaneous liaisons with Gonzalo Moré and Dr. Otto Rank (her psychoanalyst) to name a few, to the long standing, complex affair with Henry Miller. Set between Europe and America, Nin paraded alternately as friend, paramour, muse, seductress, artist, woman; duplicitous, illusive shape-shifter.


The entries stand as an authentic, reflective self-exploration, an unrepressed, uninhibited, immodest record of her life, without artifice or shame or apology. Nin habitually wrote as soon as events happened to preserve their emotional power. She faced her writing with the obsessiveness and desperation of an addict needing her 'opium' . Without it, she felt neither real nor original nor alive.


Intimate thoughts and emotions pulsate through her pen organically, passionately, sensually, frenzied. More than mere scribblings of unregulated emotions, Nin self-analyzes with insight deep and incisive, of a degree less from an intuitive or sharpened sense of perception than a honed, disciplined psychoanalytic understanding of human behavior.


Gonzalo is a sensual volcano, afire, never enough. I am ready to ask for mercy! I did not believe, after all the idealism, the chastity, the emotionalism, that we could descend into this furnace of animal desire. Now it is several times in one moment, until we lie dead with exhaustion. He smears his face with honey and sperm, we kiss in this odor and wetness, and we possess each other over and over again madly. Yet I cannot have an orgasm. Why, why, why?



Fire, a small but flammable portion of what must be a complex, multi-layered set of journals, is as fascinating as a novel compact with sensational characters all portrayed in vibrant colors. Crafted by the tool of a skilled artist - as a woman with the beauty of Venus and the sensual power of the feminine mystique; as a writer with the elegant hand for sultry, poetic prose and a touch of the surreal; as an unbound dabbler in the unconventional and an astute analyzer of it - it is obvious that Nin's greatest creation is herself.


I live in a sort of furnace of affections, loves, desires, inventions, creations, activities, and reveries. I cannot describe my life in facts because the ecstasy does not lie in the facts, in what happens or what I do, but in what is aroused in me and what is created out of all this... I live in a very physical and metaphysical reality all together...

Fire clearly represents the feverish push toward Nin's most ardent desire; the neurotic, breathless, unbridled motion toward satisfaction, the climactic discovery, that is to say - the ultimate knowing and understanding of herself.


This is the story of my incendiary neurosis! I only believe in fire. Life. Fire. Being myself on fire I set others on fire. Never death. Fire and life. Le jeux.





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