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Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love" -The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin (1931-1932) Paperback – October 29, 1990
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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.Read more ›
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).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you're a writer, you MUST read this book. It will teach you the practices of great writers while sharing the beautifully chaotic story of Nin's life.Published 22 days ago by RyeRye
This book is taken from Nin’s journals and focuses on her relationship with Henry Miller and his wife, June. Nin writes in the most poetic, dreamy way. Read morePublished 1 month ago by D. Thrush, writer
This book, many years ago, was my first introduction to the intriguing Anais Nin. It's an interesting read both for the young(ish) Anais Nin and Henry Miller, and also the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by C. Kitchel
Book is not what I expected. Relationships seemed Very strange. No particular sequence of events. Seemed very disjointedPublished 7 months ago by Sam
Started reading erotica lately, and got hooked by this book http://www.amazon.com/Inside-Charlotte-Promiscuous-Wanderings-Somerset-ebook/dp/B00XLUE912 , which mentioned Anais Nin,... Read morePublished 8 months ago by J Comstock
I probably shouldn't rate this book because I could not get past the first few chapters. I know some people love this type of prose, but it's very difficult to read. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Nicole Pare