Anais Nin; difficult, more than a little mad, and enduringly inspiring. It upsets me when my friends, who calmly accept the madness of Poe, Degas, Miller, or Hemingway- lash out at Nin as if she should have somehow been different- or not herself. As if they can only blindly accept brilliance coupled with trouble from a man. Such a double standard.
She’s a part of my soul, and I will always adore her.
“The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.“
“There are two ways to reach me: by way of kisses or by way of imagination. But there is a hierarchy: the kisses alone don’t work.”
“It’s all right for a woman to be, above all, human. I am a woman first of all.”
Portrait of Madame X,
John Singer Sergeant, 1884
“There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.”
“I do not want to be the leader. I refuse to be the leader. I want to live darkly and richly in my femaleness. I want a man lying over me, always over me. His will, his pleasure, his desire, his life, his work, his sexuality the touchstone, the command, my pivot. I don’t mind working, holding my ground intellectually, artistically; but as a woman, oh, God, as a woman I want to be dominated. I don’t mind being told to stand on my own feet, not to cling, be all that I am capable of doing, but I am going to be pursued, fucked, possessed by the will of a male at his time, his bidding.”
For more Nin:
The Diaries of Anais Nin
House of Incest
Little Birds-which is less famous than Delta of Venus, though I like LB far more.
For Nin with a Dash of Henry Miller:
A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin and Henry Miller