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Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love" -The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin (1931-1932) Paperback – October 29, 1990

4 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ana-s Nin (1903-1977) was born in Paris and aspired at an early age to be a writer. An influential artist and thinker, she was the author of several novels, short stories, critical studies, a collection of essays, two volumes of erotica, and nine published volumes of her Diary.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 281 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest Books; 1 edition (October 29, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2253052736
  • ISBN-13: 978-2253052739
  • ASIN: 015640057X
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Diane Schirf on June 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
Henry and June (from The Journal of Love) by Anaïs Nin. Recommended.
Henry and June (from The Journal of Love) by Anaïs Nin is a portion of the writer's famous journal from October 1931 until October 1932—the year in which she met Henry and June Miller and fell for Henry's sensuality and June's mystery, a year of writing, lies, deceit, sexual awakening, introspection, psychoanalysis, and "love."
Nin is an evocative, poetic writer, if not a particularly substantive one. Henry and June, edited from her journal to focus on Miller and his wife, is beautifully written but, in the end, is devoid of meaning to anyone other than the participants. She obscures the truth of how much she writes. If the journal is accurate, then Nin had mastered deception—she lies to her husband, to June, to Henry, to her psychoanalyst, to her lover/cousin Eduardo, to virtually everyone she knows, all seemingly in an attempt to hide herself from them, and perhaps from herself. She writes frequently of costumes, makeup, jewelry, nail polish and how one can put them on to create a new self. It quickly becomes clear that, despite the introspection of the journal, despite the psychoanalysis, despite her complete focus on herself and how she relates to those people in her life, Nin is no more self-aware by the end of the year than she was when she met Miller, and the reader can't be too sure, either, of where Nin ends and where the self-deception begins. When the obvious is pointed out to her—that she is still trying to find the "love" that she didn't get from her father—Nin accepts it at first, but denies it as she talks more and more to herself.
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Format: Paperback
I read a lot of Anais Nin's fiction when I was in high school, because my girlfriend did. I didn't get it. I tried to read her famous diary, but couldn't finish even the first volume. There was an intelligent and interesting woman there, but I didn't feel I was really getting to her. The diary entries I read were too cool, too discursive for my taste.
Then _Henry and June_ came out in 1986. It covered the exact same period (Paris, 1931) as "Volume I" of Nin's diaries -- first published, but in highly edited form one could now see, in 1969. Here she begins to cheat on her husband Hugo with the young Henry Miller, meets and flirts with his flighty wife June, and opens to life and eventually other men in an explosive fashion. HERE was the flesh-and-blood woman I had sensed behind the original published diaries. She panted, she sweated, she lied, she used filthy language as well as high poetry, and she adored love and sex. I thought she was a wonder. Nin and Miller collide like titans; sparks fly when they talk and when they make love.
Unfortunately, I have read several of the subsequent, increasingly-appalling unexpurgated diaries, as well as the biographies by Noel Riley Fitch and Deirdre Bair. The bloom is definitely off the rose. Ms. Nin turns out to have been a consummate deceiver (though of herself as much as anyone else), an artist manque who thought herself -- wished herself -- far more talented than she turned out to be. She works better in fantasy than reality; I still might have liked to meet her in her prime, but it would have been dicey to get involved with her.
It is in this book that she shows to her best as a character (never mind whether it's all true or another kind of fiction).
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This is from Anais Nin's diary. It is the most detailed introspective work I have ever read; Anais lays her soul bare with no reservations. She is shameless, and at the same time magnificently dignified. However, her confessions do not titillate, for they are heart-wrenching cries for help. She is 29 and married. Her husband is a banker--very stable and secure and devoted--but she yearns for excitement and danger. She is infatuated with her cousin, Eduardo, and frequently fantasizes about making love with him. And then she meets Henry Miller, and his wife, June. She thinks Henry is crude and unfeeling, but she finds June utterly fascinating; she thinks June is the epitome of feminine beauty and allure, and gentleness and understanding. The friendship escalates, and she experiences her first lesbian lovemaking with June. But as she penetrates June's psyche deeper, she intuits that June is manipulative and shallow. Then June leaves for New York. And there is only Henry. After much hand-wringing, Anais makes love with Henry. And there begins her downward spiral. A classic addictive relationship, Anais shouts out how wonderful Henry is, how she would gladly be his slave, and then a few pages later she vows to break it off with him, that he is not what she had thought. A few more pages, and she again rejoices over their lovemaking. She enrolls herself into psychotherapy, in the hopes of sorting out her riotous feelings. She becomes attracted to her therapist, and schemes to seduce him. She fans the flames of her attraction to her cousin. She makes love to her husband with renewed vigor, based on what she's learned in bed from Henry. And then she's off to Henry's apartment, where they raise the roof with their countless climaxes.Read more ›
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