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Anaïs: The Erotic Life of Anaïs Nin PDF, ePub eBook

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Anaïs: The Erotic Life of Anaïs Nin

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Anaïs: The Erotic Life of Anaïs Nin PDF, ePub eBook Anais Nin was the ultimate femme fatale, a passionate and mysterious woman, world famous for her extravagant sexual exploits, most notably her simultaneous affairs with Henry and June Miller and her bicoastal bigamous marriages. In the mid-1920s, eager to break the confines of American Victorianism both as an artist and as a woman, Nin traveled to Paris, where she fell in Anais Nin was the ultimate femme fatale, a passionate and mysterious woman, world famous for her extravagant sexual exploits, most notably her simultaneous affairs with Henry and June Miller and her bicoastal bigamous marriages. In the mid-1920s, eager to break the confines of American Victorianism both as an artist and as a woman, Nin traveled to Paris, where she fell in with the legendary artistic and literary circles of the Left Bank. "Nin's Diary", published over the years in numerous volumes, has been hailed as a breakthrough document by literary critics and feminists alike. Yet in the published diary, Nin did not lay bare her true self. She instead constructed a carefully stylized image of the woman the world knew as "Anais" while keeping her inner self well hidden. In "Anais", biographer Noel Riley Fitch presents an honest portrait of Nin's passionate, tumultuous, and sometimes bitterly painful life. Fitch reveals, among other things, that behind Nin's coquetry was the desperate yearning of an abused and abandoned child. This, the first biography of Nin, complements, corrects, and demystifies the image that Nin so artfully crafted in her diary.

30 review for Anaïs: The Erotic Life of Anaïs Nin

  1. 5 out of 5

    Roman Clodia

    First things first: this is a biography written in the present tense. I struggle sometimes with this affectation in fiction, but it feels particularly inappropriate in a biography of a subject whose life in her own writings was constructed, edited and reconstructed with hindsight and a view towards an audience. Riley Fitch admits and foregrounds the extent to which Anais Nin was almost a character in her own life, but is so in love with her own subject that I finished this book and wanted to read First things first: this is a biography written in the present tense. I struggle sometimes with this affectation in fiction, but it feels particularly inappropriate in a biography of a subject whose life in her own writings was constructed, edited and reconstructed with hindsight and a view towards an audience. Riley Fitch admits and foregrounds the extent to which Anais Nin was almost a character in her own life, but is so in love with her own subject that I finished this book and wanted to read another person's view of Nin immediately. She left volumes of diaries, of course, as well as her fiction, much of which drew on her own experiences. This book does give us some of the background to reading Nin's own works, and is useful in that respect, but it reflects back the Nin who Nin herself wanted us to see. Anais Nin is one of those controversial female writers (Simone de Beauvoir, for example, despised her model of femininity) who seems to oscillate between being the victim and agent of her own gender and sexuality: abused victim of paternal incest or woman who can't meet a man without falling into his bed? A woman liberated from the strictures of patriarchy or one neurotically striving to be the perfect wife? So would I recommend this? It's useful on clarifying the background to Nin's diaries and fiction, but for anyone wanting to experience Nin it doesn't replace a direct reading of her writings. 3.5 stars as it oscillates between the irritating and the interesting.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jaye

    A doorstop of a book from the library but better than trying to read 7 volumes of diaries. Although now from this psychological but not over-analytic biography, I know that the diaries were so heavily doctored, I would be reading yet another piece of fiction and not really learn about who Anais Nin was. What a fascinating person. The list of her acquaintances let alone sexual partners is truly amazing, how one person could intersect with so many characters. The style of the book is enjoyable. Fi A doorstop of a book from the library but better than trying to read 7 volumes of diaries. Although now from this psychological but not over-analytic biography, I know that the diaries were so heavily doctored, I would be reading yet another piece of fiction and not really learn about who Anais Nin was. What a fascinating person. The list of her acquaintances let alone sexual partners is truly amazing, how one person could intersect with so many characters. The style of the book is enjoyable. Fitch latches on to the major patterns that make Anais's interesting personality as an analyst who knows her patient. A good if not slightly taxing/mood altering book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Drew Hoffman

    One wishes the author would've toned down the judgmental tone concerning Nin's wildly unconventional personal life. Still, the conflicted sexuality of Anais Nin makes for a fairly interesting read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Anais Nin is a fascinating woman, and this book is a solid survey of her life. And what a life Fitch tells us about. Nin, born in the early years of the 20th century, recorded almost all of her experiences and thoughts from the age of 11 in 35,000 pages of diaries until she passed in 1977. In those pages she traced love affairs, literary failures and achievements, her incestuous affair with her own father when she was an adult, her experiences as both a therapist and a patient when Freudian anal Anais Nin is a fascinating woman, and this book is a solid survey of her life. And what a life Fitch tells us about. Nin, born in the early years of the 20th century, recorded almost all of her experiences and thoughts from the age of 11 in 35,000 pages of diaries until she passed in 1977. In those pages she traced love affairs, literary failures and achievements, her incestuous affair with her own father when she was an adult, her experiences as both a therapist and a patient when Freudian analysis was dominant, her bicoastal bigamy when she had one husband in NYC and one in California, neither knowing of the other for decades, and her eventual arrival as a celebrity in the last decade of her life. So why only three stars? Because despite the dramatic material, there is very little drama to the prose. It is far too academic at times, but lacks the poetry and the passion that Nin deserves, as well as a sense of staging. There is instead a sense of cramming, of listing in great detail all the people Anais knew, rather than spending more time with deeper discussion of fewer. One example--Anais was surrounded from about 1940 on by a coterie of much younger gay men. There was a bit of the "Judy Garland" effect going on. But instead of focusing on the four or five most important, the author gives a bit about each young man. And fails to really explain the pattern effectively. It would be interesting to learn more about how someone who was, by our standards, quite anti-gay in many of her attitudes, could persist in these lengthy and sometimes intimate friendships. That said, the book does make some important observations. The author convinced me that Nin was a victim of her father's sexual abuse before the age of 11, and that this abuse lingered in its effects throughout Nin's life, leading to her eventual seduction of/by her father after 19 years of separation. It also explains how she went from a sexually repressed, unconsumated 2 years of Catholic marriage to a remarkably active sex life (trying to avoid the pejorative term "promiscuous"). Her list of lovers is stunningly long, with some famous literary figures among them, including Edmund Wilson, Henry Miller, and Antonin Artaud, who was much more known for his homosexual liaisons. Much more important is her literary output. And here, as has long been known, we find that every novel and short story was ripped from her diary, occasionally altered in various details, but always based on fact. And yet--the diaries were constantly altered, sometimes to protect her first husband from her affairs, other times to change reality for Nin's own ego. When finally published, they were heavily edited, with all sex removed, and many other facts omitted. So we are left with an enigma, a woman who became a feminist icon of sorts, who lied to her public about supporting herself, hid BOTH her husbands from that public, when it was in fact those two men, particularly the first, who supported her financially (and emotionally) for almost her entire life. Anais Nin--riveting and talented and seductive--led a life that most women her age could only dream of. She was relentlessly self-made, and self-remade. Oh, forgot to note one other disappointment--I've seldom seen a major press biography with a more pathetic collection of photos of the main subject. When you google Nin, you come across all kinds of unbelievable images of her in her prime, some with Miller. This book, you barely see her face in most of the pics, and the two of Miller show him at a distance. You don't see either of her husbands very well except late in life.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Payal Banik

    Well this is one of the most erotic novel I have ever read. And also the author has the most weirdly twisted chilhood. I dont know exactly which book I read coz on the book it was written "wanderings". The book was about her childhood. Most weird childhood I would say..........................and also most erotic. It was written in such a simple language. Sure, SEX seems such a delightful activity in this book. Anna took so much pleasure and relish in the activity. But its all wrong. There is n Well this is one of the most erotic novel I have ever read. And also the author has the most weirdly twisted chilhood. I dont know exactly which book I read coz on the book it was written "wanderings". The book was about her childhood. Most weird childhood I would say..........................and also most erotic. It was written in such a simple language. Sure, SEX seems such a delightful activity in this book. Anna took so much pleasure and relish in the activity. But its all wrong. There is no conscience in the book. Its just all sex sex and sex. Anna's life is simply a porn for the readers. There seemd to be no moral in Anna. She just want sex love sex and like to have sex with absolutely everyone. Craziest woman writer. At first it was okay. She was doing Del and Paco, her step brother but then she started doing it with her father. It was really very very sick. I gave it 3 stars just because it is absolutely erotic and you can visualize almost everything. (I am still not sure I read this book or not. Might be entirely another book. But it was about Anna's erotic life so I simply rated this)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lori Perkins

    Was talking to a friend about Nin's diaries, which I read in their entirety when I was in my 20's, and influenced me profoundly. I started keeping a journal when I was 17 and still do, but since Nin's dairies had been so heavily edited, I kept all the sex an drugs out of mine too (most of the rock'n'roll as well, because it had so much sex and drugs in it). Then, when the unexpurgated diaries came out, we were all floored, so I'm reading an overview of the truth. I plan on re-reading the unedite Was talking to a friend about Nin's diaries, which I read in their entirety when I was in my 20's, and influenced me profoundly. I started keeping a journal when I was 17 and still do, but since Nin's dairies had been so heavily edited, I kept all the sex an drugs out of mine too (most of the rock'n'roll as well, because it had so much sex and drugs in it). Then, when the unexpurgated diaries came out, we were all floored, so I'm reading an overview of the truth. I plan on re-reading the unedited diaries beginning Jan. 2010 (after I finish UNDER THE DOME).

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hoyadaisy

    It seems very carefully researched, but I'm amazed that Nin's erotic life could be so tedious.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joan Colby

    The best biography of Nin. Fitch captures the essence of Anais Nin in a way that other biographers miss. Thoroughly researched and impartial, Fitch strives for a portrait that is true to Nin’s complex personality. Following the publication of the unexpurgated diaries (it was Nin’s wish that they be published after her death and the death of Hugh) many of her followers who had pictured her as she appeared in the expurgated version—an independent woman of the world—were disenchanted and denounced The best biography of Nin. Fitch captures the essence of Anais Nin in a way that other biographers miss. Thoroughly researched and impartial, Fitch strives for a portrait that is true to Nin’s complex personality. Following the publication of the unexpurgated diaries (it was Nin’s wish that they be published after her death and the death of Hugh) many of her followers who had pictured her as she appeared in the expurgated version—an independent woman of the world—were disenchanted and denounced her “lies”. Anais never denied falsehoods which she described as fantasies rather than lies and the diary in both versions is a work of artifice rather than a factual picture of Nin’s life. It seems true that she enjoyed deception as it gave her a feeling of excitement and power. Beneath her seeming confidence, there was a lot of fear. Henry Miller wisely accused her of helping others to bind them to her. Nin was generous with gifts—though her finances were due to Hugh’s career as a banker—but she could not abide criticism and some of her close friendships faltered when friends chose to be frank about her work. In her later years, she achieved a following especially of younger women who elevated her to the level of a goddess and Nin enjoyed this status after decades of being ignored by the literary community. Despite what one thinks of Nin’s narcissism (of which she accused herself, but never seemed to be able to ameliorate) she was an original personality and her diaries will vie with such acclaimed diarists as Pepys and Woolf

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisagarden

    I have mixed reactions to this book. Packed with info and research available up to the publication in 1993. Some of the writing was dry and at times it felt like "work" to read this book, but glad I did . I found interesting the later chapters of the book and the support she gave to young writers, but often support or advice which she did not follow for herself! She was a hypocrite. It was revealing of many truths in Nin's life which she lied about. As a young woman I liked Nin and even correspo I have mixed reactions to this book. Packed with info and research available up to the publication in 1993. Some of the writing was dry and at times it felt like "work" to read this book, but glad I did . I found interesting the later chapters of the book and the support she gave to young writers, but often support or advice which she did not follow for herself! She was a hypocrite. It was revealing of many truths in Nin's life which she lied about. As a young woman I liked Nin and even corresponded with her. It was disappointing but revealing to learn of the truths of her life. I now question some of her mental stability at points as well as her father's. Informative about the relationship with her mother. Amazed at the amount of writing she accomplished.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shan Watts

    I'm finding this really hard going. For a woman who was fascinating, the author certainly makes it an incredibly dry story. I'd like to just put it down and not bother picking it back up, as I'm over halfway through, but part of me still holds out hope that it will get better - the dreamer I me, I think!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ishki

    I have always had this curiosity about what made Anais Nin tick. I'm still not sure if I know what her tick. Did anyone know, even Anais herself, know what made her tick? Did anyone know Anais? Which Anais? I'm still confused, however, the book did shed much light on her life, especially her early which interested me. Well written, well researched, well documented.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    i've read anais nin's work since i was younger and it is interesting how she weaved a certain web throughout her storytelling and lovers so much so that you never really knew what was fact vs. fiction. this book tries to demystify her and i think succeeds pretty well.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emma Weine

    I lived and loved Anais Nin in my 20's and read this bio on a round road trip from Sydney to Brisbane. I enjoyed it so much I didn't even get car sick.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Deidre Keene

    LOVED it!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laila

    I can't deeal with this book. Anais Nin and all her lovers, her hysterics, her twisted fantasties, it all got to be a bit much so I had to abandon it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sonia

    I just started reading this book and am so excited. I love her books and am just as enthralled with her life.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    better than the deirdre bair biography, which focused too much on nin's morality.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    The most easy to read biography I have read yet. Also included much more information than just reading her diaries and has influenced me to read the all again along with her short stories.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Fields

    I really liked this angle

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    It took me a long long time to finish this book. Fitch's account of Nin's life isn't nearly as interesting as Nin's own, but it does fill in a lot of the gaps that were edited out of the diaries.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bookzilla

  22. 4 out of 5

    Role

  23. 5 out of 5

    Vil

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

  25. 5 out of 5

    Кйлмеда K

  26. 5 out of 5

    John Ervin

  27. 5 out of 5

    Robbi

  28. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jill

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