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Incest: From "A Journal of Love" -The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin (1932-1934) Paperback – September 16, 1993

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Incest: From "A Journal of Love" -The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin (1932-1934) + Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love" -The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin (1931-1932) + The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Picking up where Henry and June (1986) left off, this portion of Nin's diary, which was cut from the expurgated editions published in her lifetime, records her steamy love affair with Henry Miller in Paris, but here her intense adoration gives way to disillusionment. She describes Miller as crude, egotistic, imitative, childishly irresponsible, "a madman." Her real focus, however, is her father, Joaquin Nin, a Spanish pianist and aristocratic Don Juan who seduced her after a 20-year absence. Her graphic account of their lovemaking and of her incestuous romantic feelings is fairly shocking. Nin sought absolution from her psychiatrist and lover, Otto Rank, who advised her to bed her father, then dump him as punishment for abandoning her when she was 10. Nin's ornate, hothouse prose is much rawer than the chiseled style of the expurgated diaries. She seethes with jealousy at Miller's wife June, swoons over poet and actor Antonin Artaud, neglects her protective husband, Hugh Guiler, and describes her traumatic delivery of a stillborn child. Her extraordinary, tangled self-analysis is a disarming record of her emotional and creative growth. Photos.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

This second volume of the unexpurgated version of Nin's diary spans the period from October 1932 to November 1934. It draws upon previously unpublished material from the period covered by the first volume of the diary as published in 1966. Incest follows Henry & June ( LJ 10/1/86), focusing not only on Nin's continued relationship with author Henry Miller but also on her physical and emotional attachments to four other men. Nin offers intimate details of disturbing events such as her intense incestuous affair with her father and her abortion during her sixth month of pregnancy. Her diary offers direct insight into a narcissistic, passionate, analytical, and complex mind, but the brief introduction does disappointingly little to explain the editorial process that created this version of Nin's diary, which differs dramatically in style and content from its expurgated counterpart. Nevertheless, this is an important supplement to the 1966 diary and is recommended for most literature collections.
- Ellen Finnie Duranceau, MIT Lib.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Harvest Book
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (September 16, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156443007
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156443005
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anaïs Nin (1903-1977) was born in Paris and aspired at an early age to be a writer. An influential artist and thinker, she wrote primarily fiction until 1964, when her last novel, Collages, was published. She wrote The House of Incest, a prose-poem (1936), three novellas collected in The Winter of Artifice (1939), short stories collected in Under a Glass Bell (1944), and a five-volume continuous novel consisting of Ladders to Fire (1946), Children of the Albatross (1947), The Four-Chambered Heart (1950), A Spy in the House of Love (1954), and Seduction of the Minotaur (1961). These novels were collected as Cities of the Interior (1974). She gained commercial and critical success with the publication of the first volume of her diary (1966); to date, fifteen diary volumes have been published. Her most commercially successful books were her erotica published as Delta of Venus (1977) and Little Birds (1979). Today, her books are appearing digitally, most notably The Portable Anaïs Nin (2011).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 92 people found the following review helpful By bookkitten on September 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
For the love of ... Are we reviewing the book, or are we critiquing the woman? We're reviewing the book, right? So why so much moralistic brouhaha about the writer's behavior? When Van Gogh's work is auctioned off for a gazillion dollars, is the fact that he was mentally ill of great concern, or is there more interest in his artistry, his skill, and his innovative and altogether original treatment of a mundane subject?
Yes, Anais Nin describes doing some things that we find disturbing. (Regarding the abortion, back in those days when very little was known about the fetus, late-term abortions were common and there was no moral dilemma. We simply can't judge her by our modern understanding. And as for her bizarre relationship with her father, one again would need to understand the context, the extremely complicated history from which the behavior arose.)
So enough of the judgments of Anais Nin's descriptions of her own behavior (does she get points for honesty?) and take a look at the writing. I simply defy anyone to describe such strange events with as much brilliance and poetry. Nin's writing is like a ballet on ice; it is stylized, feminine, passionate and strict at the same time. Who else could divulge the darkest secrets with the delicacy of a geisha serving tea?
Some day Nin's achievement will be recognized by the literary establishment. In the meantime, if you don't count yourself among the squeamish, judgmental, or easily disturbed, buy this book.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Katie on April 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
Regardless of the subject matter, Anais Nin is an incredible writer and her way with words was probably part of her charm in life. Her ability to describe even the most perverted behavior as something transcendent and meaningful probably was the ability that kept her circle of lovers around her. She could make the most petty behavior seem poetic by her descriptions and that's seductive to someone caught in a relationship with such a person.
I read the journals of Anais Nin not because I identify with her, or even sympathise with her, but because I enjoy the way she makes every small event of her life seem like something elevated and rife with meaning. I am fascinated by the lurid details and by the paradox of all her affairs, were these men sexually abusing her, or was she using them? It seems, somehow both.
And there's a little bit of teenage angst still lurking inside me that was never cured. The part of me that still listens to the Smiths and loves Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton adores Anais Nin and her glorious tragic screwed-upness.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I have read this book a few times. I felt great anguish, and hope for this woman, and all she was going through. As a writer, I can perhaps understand a bit more why she would put herself in this position... and maybe as a woman, even though she explains her motivations, desires, and actions pretty good. I do not agree with the person who said she was just a sick person. To write about something so intensely personal and so shattering, I think she would have to have been very strong emotionally, or it would have destroyed her, which is clearly NOT the case. whether she became a better person for it, who are we to judge? she wanted, and needed to experience life to the fullest. who can say there is something wrong with that? isn't that what we are ultimately here for. the only thing she could not control was the pain and the things that were beyond her- but she understood that, and still progressed. I think she did have a lot of courage, and was a remarkable woman, who let herself stay open to the world and all it had to offer her. she knew herself better than anyone else did, and while she had faults, they only seemed to magnify her humanity and vulnerability more, rather than make her into someone negative and bitter, which she could have been. we are all imperfect, and sometimes, the imperfections are also beauty marks, and Anais had many!! for anyone who wants to know more about women and how they sometimes suffer for love and the trappings it brings; this is a must read. also for breaking taboos, and seeing that life is not over once we enter into those realms. we can all learn from this brilliant woman.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Allan M. Lees on July 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In general I find Anais Nin's work to be self-indulgent and her subject matter (largely herself) trivial. Her portraits of others are frequently lightweight and lack perceptiveness. Her Diaries are overwrought and sometimes unintentionally funny but in general aren't worth the time it takes to read them. These previously unpublished sections of her Diaries, in which Nin describes her incestuous relationship with her father, are however the most compelling segments of her writing in the whole canon.

She describes with great insight her father's character, and she sketches his physical attributes with great economy yet enables us to see the man as she saw him - frail, a hopeless narcicist and an aging dandy, yet compelling and vital despite the betrayals of his body (and his betrayals of all those who ever got close to him). Her account of her own feelings is also economical for once, and we don't have to labor through over-written descriptions of her emotional condition in order to get to the point.

While the subject matter may not be to everyone's taste, I would argue that if you have any interest in Nin's work and times, this is the book above all others that you should read.
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