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Anais: The Erotic Life of Anais Nin

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. Anais Nin (1903-1977) was the ultimate femme fatale, world-famous for her sexual exploits, most notably her simultaneous affairs with Henry and June Miller and her bigamous marriages. In the 1920s she...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

The history behind the diaries.

I have to agree with some of the other reviews here that Fitch's work can be cumbersome at times. It is a little confusing in spots, mostly due to the tricky present-tense and Fitch's tendency to make giant, intuitive leaps from one reference to another. I do not, however, feel that this detracts one bit from the subject matter. I can't imagine another biography addressing Nin's complicated life and neurosis with the same unflinching honesty and compassion. Nin was an extremely complex woman who spent most of her time and energy trying to compartmentalize her life, then painfully pushing against the boundries of those compartments with her life and work. Fitch pulls from multiple sources to draw a more cohesive picture of Nin's life than Anais herself ever did. Though that's rather the point, isn't it? The original published diaries are now understood to be a construct of Nin's talented metaphorical writing: true in a sense, but bearing little resemblence to hard facts. One doesn't read Nin's rich, feminine, lyrical prose for an accurate histoical record. And although it's difficult to be accurate about history under the best of circumstances, Fitch does a fine job piecing together the available clues not only for an accurate timeline, but for some kind of insight into Anais Nin's motivations. Overall, Fitch portrayed Nin without prejudice, balancing the horrors of childhood abuse and neglect against the adult Nin's conscious betrayals of lovers and friends. Ultimately, she shows Nin to be a very flawed, very passionate artist without excuses. She neither condemns Nin, nor places her on a pedastal. I prefer this way... it's like seeing Nin through the eyes of a true friend;one that loves her for who she was, with no excuses.

The best biography I've ever read

If you are fascinated by Anais Nin's diaries, you will find this biography even jucier! Fitch uncovers all in a way that further illuminates what was behind the woman who once said, "Erotica is like a veil." After reading this book, I felt I'd witnessed Nin in a way no one could have by just knowing her. To me, this is what biographies are all about. It made me see Nin in a new way, and allowed me to finally see what drove her mysterious behavior, talent, obsessions, and extreme privacy. In fact, this book made me more interested in biographies than reading diaries. If you like this, you might also try the biography of Clara Bow, "Runnin' Wild," as well as the biography of Katherine Ann Porter.

She created her own life unhampered by truth

A scholarly biography need not be boring, and one written of the life of Anais Nin cannot be. Fitch's work is creditably balanced in an attempt to sort fact from fiction in Nin's writings. Though some considered her a pathological liar, Nin considered herself simply the creator of her own life. Her Diaries, the most widely known of her writings, suffered, some believe, from her extensive editing. Though Nin claimed the editing was for the purpose of protecting the many players in her life, there is evidence that much of it was simply so that she could be remembered as she wished to be. Sculptor Isamu Noguchi was among her New York circle, and legendary writer Henry Miller was her lover in youth and dear friend in age. These were only two among perhaps hundreds of important figures of her time in literature, art, and psychotherapy, whom she counted as friends and acquaintances and who give a broad appeal to a study of her life. Artists, writers, and those in the various ! fields of psychology and psychiatry can be informed by the way she lived her life and the people she drew into it.

Reads like a novel

This biography, written in the present tense, begins with Anais Nin's arrival in New York City when she was eleven and beginning her diary--a diary that gave birth to herself. The Afterward presents the ironic fall-out after her death--the appearance of her obituary in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, each naming a different husband and exposing her bigamy and disceptions.

The truth!!!

I have enjoyed two of Anais Nin's diaries but wondered how reliable a narrator she was....this book shows how Nin lied to the world and herself. Not a hatchet job but a fair look into her chatoic painfull life.
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