A Spy in the House of Loveby Anais Nin
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Originally published in book form in 1954, A Spy in the House of Love contains some of Anais Nin's best poetic prose. The main character, Sabina, realizes that she is a composite of many selves, each one seeking identity within relationships with five very different men, and while she seeks to live out each part of herself, she also craves unity, setting the stage for the battle for self-awareness.
Consider the following passage, which describes Sabina's encounter with Philip, whom she has met in a nightclub:
"The trembling premonitions shaking the hand, the body, made dancing unbearable, waiting unbearable, smoking and talking unbearable. Soon would come the untamable seizure of sensual cannibalism, the joyous epilepsies.
"They fled from the eyes of the world, the singer's prophetic, harsh, ovarian prologues. Down the rusty bars of ladders to the undergrounds of the night propitious to the first man and woman at the beginning of the world, where there were no words by which to possess each other, no music for serenades, no presents to court with, no tournaments to impress and force a yielding, no secondary instruments, no adornments, necklaces, crowns to subdue, but only one ritual, a joyous, joyous, joyous, joyous impaling of woman on man's sensual mast."
Part realism and part fantasy, A Spy in the House of Love achieves a level of writing that epitomizes Nin's skill with the English language.
- BN ID:
- Sky Blue Press
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- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
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- 89 KB
Meet the Author
Anais Nin (1903-1977) was born in France and spent most of her adult life in the USA. Her first book, D. H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study, was published in the 1932 and caught the attention of American rebel novelist Henry Miller. Her prose poem, House of Incest (1936), was followed by Winter of Artifice (1939). Her first American publication of new material was the celebrated Under a Glass Bell and Other Stories (1943). Her novels, Ladders to Fire, Children of the Albatross, The Four-Chambered Heart, A Spy in the House of Love, and Seduction of the Minotaur were first published in the United States between the 1940s and the 1960s. In the 1940s she began to write erotica for an anonymous client, and these stories are collected in the bestsellers Delta of Venus and Little Birds, both of which were published posthumously. Nin is most known for her famous diaries, which were first published in 1966.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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DH Lawrence and Anais Nin have completely different styles of writing which cannot be compared. Firstly, Nin is actually not incredibly painful to read. Though I must admit that this was not one of her better works, it still greatly overpowers many of the supposed modern classics. The woman had a gift for the tasteful yet provocative exploration of human sexuality, gender norms, and societal restraints.
Of all of the "classics" that I have read, A Spy in the House of Love was the only one that has been a true disappointment. The story wades through uninspiring page after uninspiring page. I felt nothing for the characters, and failed to see any of the sensuality that has apparently made it such a noteworthy book. For a really good classic that explores sensuality, try something by D.H. Lawrence.
Nor are sex and drugs and alcohol or ones office visits