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A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953 Paperback – April 22, 1989


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A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953 + 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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; First Edition edition (April 22, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 015652791X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156527910
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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If you love Nin or Miller, you'll be thoroughly entertained by this book.
Marion
It makes me happy that someone can find words to describe the intense feelings of life, love, and the power of the brain.
lizzy
It's so breathtakingly wonderful to read letters written by two articulate writers.
AJD

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

156 of 163 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
Whatever you may think of her writing, Anaïs Nin was definitely a femme fatale. Henry Miller was, he claimed, the "happiest man alive." Together, Nin and Miller created a literary language for sexual fulfillment; she in a diary whose original form still remains unpublished, he in novels banned in both the United States and England until court cases in the early 1960s permitted their publication and turned Miller into something Nin had already achieved: the status of a cult hero.
Nin and Miller met in Paris in 1931. Miller, an aspiring novelist, wanted to meet the banker's pretty wife who had sung the praises of D.H. Lawrence and whose books had been deemed "pornography" outside of France. Neither Nin nor Miller, at that point, had published much. Their mutual interest, as they freely admit, was in sex and in each other and, consequently, they began a long affair.
It was during this affair that both Nin and Miller produced their finest writing--the writings that would eventually become Nin's two diaries and her novel, House of Incest, as well as Miller's Tropic of Cancer and Black Spring. Each believed in, and nurtured, the others genius and Miller wrote that Nin's diary would take its place "beside the revelations of St. Augustine, Petronius, Abelard, Proust and others."
Miller, only forty-one, but already somewhat down-and-out, fascinated the twenty-nine year old Nin, whose vague yearnings filled the many pages of the diary she had been keeping since the age of ten. "He's a man who makes life drunk. He is like me," she mused. Nin and Miller, however, were not alike. One of their most essential differences was a difference typical between men and women--Nin censored herself, while the world censored Miller.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Marion VINE VOICE on June 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
What a provocative read! Having read all of Nin's diaries and fiction, I felt that this book filled in the missing gaps of her life. I came away admiring her perseverence in achieving the goal of publishing her writing. I felt I finally understood how she and Miller drifted apart after having had such a burning, passionate, intense beginning to their long love affair. Alas, they were both mere mortals just as you and I! If you love Nin or Miller, you'll be thoroughly entertained by this book.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book gives the reader a candid glimpse into the lives and minds of these two literary geniuses. Erotic, intelligent, and sensitive, this book will turn on your every emotion and awaken your soul.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Edlund on November 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
Like many others, I have been fascinated with and frustrated by Anais Nin for many years, since reading the first volume of her expurgated diary in 1977.
This volume of letters enables the reader who has already read other versions of the Nin-Miller story to form additional conclusions about what might actually have happened. Because the letters were sent into the possession of others, they were less subject to the constant revision and reinvention that bedevils all attempts to determine objective facts about the mercurial Nin.
If you are not already an amateur historian of literary trends of the 1930's, fear not. The letters are worth reading as an introduction to Anais Nin and Henry Miller as well, for they depict a real-life romance conducted by two who absolutely relished the game and were highly articulate in dramatically different ways.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By lulibot on September 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
How much deeper can you get into a person's complexities and simplicities, understand the origin of their joys and frustrations, their motivators and their fears, if not by reading the letters they wrote to one another, and, in this case, one of their best friends and lovers?
This is a powerful door to Anais' heart and soul, and even more powerful than her diaries itself. Because here you get deep into one of the most significant periods of her life, the many years she let her own life and self entwined with Henry Miller's.
Indispensable reading for anyone, even more for those who admire Anais and Miller as ordinary people who loved each other, or as writers ahead of their time, unafraid of other people's opinions.
Immerse yourself: you're gonna want to sink.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By katrina ford on January 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
Forget Nin's works of fiction, the journals, letters, and life are truly worth experiencing over and over again for their honesty, passion, and viewing the internal turned external for our benefit. Everyone knows of Miller's and Nin's relationhip, through "Henryand June" if anything, but it is through this work that we see them less as romantic figures and more as humans capable of the idiocy, devotion, and prolongation of things we should all end and just don't for whatever reason. This is a great buy if you are a lover a letters. Reading "Fire" is a must, however.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "joerebel" on March 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
You'll laugh, cry, and find yourself feeling a little like a voyeur at times when reading this book. The letters are so personal, and so alive with intense emotion that if you read this book along with the diary dates that correspond to the letters, you'll get a little more insight into what was really going on. This is the kind of reading that once you get started, it's hard to put down, and you'll find yourself marvelling at the images that Henry and Anais concoct.
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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).

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