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Condition: Used: Good
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Cities of the Interior Paperback – 1975

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Cities of the Interior
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  • The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934
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  • Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love" -The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin (1931-1932)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A prose/poetry dream; a lyrical celebration of the inner life and the images it evokes.”
— Daniel Stern


“Beautiful, rare novels.”
— Karl Shapiro


”Real and unmistakable genius.”
— Rebecca West


“She explores relationships on a level to which few contemporary novelists penetrate.”
— The Atlantic


“She wishes to immerse readers in that flow of sensibility and reflection from which human beings distill the significance of what they do and suffer.”
— New York Times

About the Author

Anaïs Nin (1903–1977) was one of the most unique literary figures of this century. As a novelist she was distinctly catalytic, and her life-long diary resembles no other in the history of letters. Her books have been translated in a dozen languages.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 588 pages
  • Publisher: Swallow Press (1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804006660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804006668
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,050,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Though any of the five mini masterpieces that constitute this cyclical novel ("Ladders to Fire", "Children of the Albatross", "The Four-Chambered Heart", "A Spy in the House of Love", and "Seduction of the Minotaur") stand on their own as seperate and equally moving novels, I'm finding it difficult to describe the importance "Cities of the Interior" has held in my (and countless others') heart since my first reading of it.
The narcisism of which Anais Nin has been continually accused could be found here in "Cities of the Interior" during the most cursory of surface-readings (I suppose the same could be said of any writer who has been published to a mass market?) but, it is precisely her singular ability to delve into the depths of her most secret heart that allows her to reveal the core motivations for even the smallest of sensual gestures of her literary characterisations.
These revelations, couched in some of the most memorable and intimate prose you're ever likely to read, are the keys that can unlock the restrictive bonds we all place on our relationships with those closest to us, and perhaps more importanly, the restrictions that keep those with whom we SHOULD be close at arms-length.
This universal gift of empathy and understanding of the geography of the heart is the reason I come back to Ms. Nin's work again and again. What an appropriate title for a timeless epic that has the ability to polish your inner life to a bright glow.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book differs greatly from her better known Little Birds and Delta of Venus. The characters Are The Story. It is rich in description, and the quirks and strivings of each persona is so minutely described, that it rings true these many decades later. I am sure a person in the book will remind you of someone you know.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me quote from a letter about Spy in the Hose of Love by Felix Pollak that the author included in her published diary:
"This novel's whole theme must be anathema in a country that, despite its hectic overcompensations, is still laboring under the Puritan strain; for even in the sexiest novels produced here, sex is always treated functionally; a recurrent need leading to recurrent acts, to concessions, whether deplored or affirmed, to natural functions that must be fulfilled so that they can be forgotten and make room for higher things. While in your books, and most clearly in Spy, sex is exposed as the ever present life force, the life of the senses as all-pervading. Eros, sensuality are shown as the spark plugs that set the whole machinery in motion, as the source, the spring, the key, the Mother in the Goethe sense. Unity in manifoldness, no tortuous and artificial duality, no Christian rift between mind and body, no sterile divorce of emotion from reason, but emotion and reason inseparably mated and molded together as effect and cause; instincts, drives seen as what they are: the wire pullers of even the most rational thought processes. The tremendous hidden portion of the tiny iceberg visible above the waters."

This above author sees clearly why these books were not popular when first published. They are written from a fusion of literature with psychoanalysis that did not begin to reach America until the 1960s. Consciousness is only a small human addition to a predominantly mammalian mind. Anais was faithful to pure art and to the future.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I'm basically writing this in response to the author who said "If you like PROSE..."

Well, I agree with him or her. Nin was really, really lacking in plot. (My God, I wish she WOULD have written plot into her stories! I think she would have truly been recognized as a world-class fiction writer if she had. Her erotic stories (Delta of Venus, Little Birds) were best sellers because they combined her genius for language and emotions with a plot.)

Her stories are more like portraits of certain people or places. But the language is so beautiful, it was worth reading, at least for me.
But I admit, it's not for everyone.
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