Anais: The Erotic Life of Anais Nin

Anais: The Erotic Life of Anais Nin

by Noel Riley Fitch, Margo Finch
     
 

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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

Overview

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 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Anais Nin (1903-1977) projected the image of a free woman designing her own life and world into something beautiful, but the multiple selves of her diaries, in Fitch's estimate, are fictive constructs. Tapping hundreds of interviews, library archives and Nin's unpublished erotica and fiction, Fitch ( Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation ) convincingly portrays Nin as a complex, neurotic artist, alienated from her own anger and pain, who worked out her neuroses through her art. She traces the psychological damage inflicted by Nin's father, who photographed her nude, beat her and seduced her in childhood, then seduced her again in 1933. Fitch ably reconstructs Nin's simultaneous romantic involvement with Henry and June Miller in Paris, and her bicoastal, bigamous life divided between Hugh Guiler in New York and Rupert Pole in California. Written in the present tense, a risky device that wears thin, and occasionally marred by rose-tinted Nin-like prose, this remarkably intimate, hypnotic, probing portrait nevertheless helps explain the charismatic power and abiding appeal of Nin. Photos. (Sept.)
Library Journal
When Nin's diaries began appearing in the mid-Sixties, their popularity earned her a bigger audience than she had ever had. The question that always teased readers of the Franco-American novelist was whether and how her fiction depended on her life experiences. It is now generally acknowledged that her novels are pallid reflections of her own journey, detailed here by Fitch, author of Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation ( LJ 8/83) as well as literary guides to Paris. Fitch presents more than a sensational biography of a sensual woman, also depicting a tumultuous and harrowing life. From her early life, Nin suffered acutely, first after her father deserted the family, then during years of solitude and loneliness. As Fitch shows, her struggle to achieve as a woman and artist was arduous. Recommended for large collections and as a companion to Nin's diaries where they are popular.-- Ali Houissa, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.Y.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316284318
Publisher:
Hachette Book Group
Publication date:
11/19/1994
Pages:
552
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.23(d)

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