7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful writing that I use as meditations,
This review is from: The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. 5: 1947-1955 (Paperback)
THE DIARY OF ANAIS NIN: VOLUME FIVE 1947-1955 contains beautiful writing. Anais (pronounced "anna - EESE" ["EESE" as in "lease"]) has a very unique writing style, a result of her Spanish and French background, her fondest for extremes, and frequent disregard for correct grammar and punctuation.
The downside to her beautiful prose is that often it is hard to follow what she is talking about. Though I am a huge fan of Anais Nin, I always struggle with her writing, particularly these "expurgated" diaries; because they were so heavily edited they seem very choppy at times. Anais also was not in the habit of sticking to one topic per paragraph. And it is common for one paragraph to be completely unrelated to the previous. I often become so bewildered that I have to put the book down. (It also doesn't help that I was only two when Anais died in 1977, meaning I am often completely unfamiliar with the topics she discusses.)
I now use her diaries as meditations, and am content to read a passage or even paragraph at a time. It no longer bothers me that I often get lost. One paragraph, or even one sentence, often contains enough beauty to make it unimportant that I have no idea what she's talking about (many things I have understood have not been nearly as beautiful). She just had an awesome command of language! My favorite passage in Volume Five is on the very first page where she describes her time in Acapulco. It's stunning poetry! I've never seen anyone else write like this.
I would certainly agree that previous knowledge of Anais's life is helpful in appreciating her diaries and all other works. I am currently reading ANAIS NIN: A BIOGRAPHY by Deirdre Bair. Ms. Bair's book has been incredibly helpful in understanding Nin's work. I recommend Bair's biography of Nin in addition to THE DAIRY OF ANAIS NIN: VOLUME FIVE 1947-1955.