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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2002
For fans of Anais Nin, this unedited early diary is a must. Written in the years immediately preceding the events revealed in her books HENRY AND JUNE and INCEST, this diary is the connecting link that reveals how a virtuous, loving wife became a wild adventurous. The writing is simply gorgeous; you'll be amazed at how polished and vivid her discriptions of life in Paris of the 1920s were (and yes, this book was printed AS IS from the original journals). Ironically, she describes her initial disgust with Parisian "sensuality," as well as her growing acceptance and eventual delight with the city. She describes her homes, friends, and her interest in Spanish dance. But perhaps most importantly, she describes her marriage to Hugh Guiler, a man she loves but who does not satisfy her physically. Read this book so as to understand how Anais was eventually driven into the arms of Henry Miller.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2001
This volume of writing offers the careful reader glimpses of Anais Nin before she reinvented herself. Or does it? One can never be sure with Nin.
The girl who became Anais Nin, scandalous diarist, was clearly highly articulate, and determined to live a life of Art and Passion, even when her mother was making her do housework as a teenager in their modest rental house in Queens. It provides a gentle introduction to her life and times, and a fascinating contrast to searing works such as _Incest_, taken from diary material written some twenty or so years later. One also gets some interesting views of early-twentieth century New York City.
The book, taken in the context of Nin's later work, offers evidence that we become what we most want to be. Dreamer, beware!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2000
Even if you've read other works of Anais, you must read this journal. Beginning at age 11, young Anais introduces you to a sad, young girl who has matured well beyond her years. However, her passion and desire remain the same. She knew at that young age that she was meant to do nothing else but write.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2007
I had the distinct advantage when reading this chronologically first Nin diary of knowing little about her, and having never read any of her diaries or books. About half way through I ordered the other 3 early diaries, all 7 later diaries and the 4 volumes of unexpurgated material that represented diary materials left out of the ones she published during her lifetime. I am so looking forward to reading all of these in chronological order. In all of literature is there a more extensive, detailed look into another person's private life and thoughts? What an adventure this will be.

This first volume covers Nin's entries from ages 11 to 17. The level of writing, description, and psychological insight contained here is astounding for a girl of pre-teen and teenage years. So amazing that I finally came to the conclusion that there is no way a 15 year old could come up with some of the subtle observations about human nature and behavior contained herein. No way. Apparently, Nin read her older diaries numerous times over the years. My guess is that when she went back to these diaries in her adulthood, at times she added comments and details not written originally. There is nothing wrong or disingenuous about that, especially since the apparent adult added material is so educational and perceptive. I do wish however, that the editor if possible, could have indicated what was the original material and what was added later on. Perhaps, it was not possible to ascertain when portions and additions were written. As a case in point, there is no way a 12 year old wrote this, "I forget the earth, I forget everything, and I soar into an infinite without misery and without end. When my free spirit escapes from the powerful claws of that mortal enemy, the World, it seems to me I find what I wanted." World-weary cynicism at age 12?

This diary picks up speed being especially poignant as Anais experiences first innocent love. Surprisingly the story of her evolution never lags. The writing itself is miraculous, for any age. What an irony that this young girl often wondered how she might eventually write poems and novels to become a famous writer, and didn't have the slightest clue that that fame was being realized in the words she was writing at that moment in these diaries. She was to become the most famous, and infamous, diarist of the 20th century. Little did she see that, until decades later. The lesson seems to be to follow your instinctive creative impulses and desires, and if you do have any genius in you, it will show itself where your spirit leads your path. Instinct and interest are God's hands gently showing you the way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 15, 2011
This is a great addition to the diaries of Anais Nin. When it opens she is a good and loyal wife. By the end she is ready for a sexual adventure. After reading this the reader comes to understand how she and Hugh Geiler could live the lives they did, yet maintain a genuine and real love affair with each other until the end of her life. And, of course, this book has her trademark brilliant and beautiful prose and depth of insight into the characters she knew. Another brilliant book by one of the great underrecognized writers of the XXth Century.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2007
I've never read one of Anais Nin's early diaries and I can tell from the very beginning that this volume is way different from her latest diaries. This volume acts like a transition between her young, unspoiled perspective upon life and her mature, sensual way of living.
I enjoyed reading Anais Nin at the age of 24 - because she seemed rather naive and seeking answers, yet beginning to develop into the amazing woman she later became.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2007
This book is pretty interesting if you've already read a good deal of Anais Nin's diary. Her early years are somewhat nondescript as European children go, however, so there isn't much here for the historian or for those who like their memoirs spicy and strange (cf Running With Scissors). If you are a serious Nin fan, you'll probably want to read this, but you aren't missing much if you don't. If you're not really a fan, you won't find much of interest here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2012
These childhood diaries contrast amazingly with those of her adult life. Due to early childhood events, that were repressed at that time, she was even shyer, especially with boys, than average for a Spanish Catholic girl. On the other hand, she clearly considered herself an artist from a family of artists and was interested mainly in other artists rather than neighbors. The diary was already an obsession and her writing skill was already developing. A rare glimpse into the heart and mind of a young girl, even if you don't read her adult diaries.
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on April 3, 2014
Anaia Nin is a compelling writer, even at the age of 11. One would think that reading a journal of one so young would be boring read. I found her wit and style of writing interesting and entertaining.
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The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934
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The Early Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. 2. (1920-1923)
The Early Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. 2. (1920-1923) by Anaïs Nin (Paperback - November 30, 1983)


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