A Reprise From Another Place ~ “Book Porn”

From somewhere else, at another time, when things were relatively happy and carefree. I took a trip down memory lane today. There’s really a book, and a review, but not really any porn.

All this talk about Book Porn had me scurrying to the shelf to dig out my favorite “book porn” of all time. This, dear readers, is anything written by Anais Nin.

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I started reading Anais Nin back in the early 1980s. Even though much of her work was composed decades earlier, I felt a connection with the author. Reading her came at a time of my life when my world was in flux and I felt adrift.

Here are some notable quotes. Of course, they don’t mean as much without the context of the larger passage, but these words stand on their own.

She was an artist and writer and took her writing very seriously.

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.”

Her literary works were hopeful and vibrant.

“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.”

I could almost see her grow with every entry in her journal.

“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.”

Anais Nin was a strong and capable woman in an age when women were expected to be delicate flowers. Her ideas were way before their time.

“How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself.”

I love this, too. It is so me.

“There were always in me, two women at least,
one woman desperate and bewildered,
who felt she was drowning and another who
would leap into a scene, as upon a stage,
conceal her true emotions because they
were weaknesses, helplessness, despair,
and present to the world only a smile,
an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest.”

Known mostly as a journal writer, bon vivant and artist, Anais Nin also penned alarmingly concise and beautiful erotica. This was because she was lacking funds, and the literary market was rather lucrative with regard to erotic genre. I find her erotica to be delicate and charming to the senses. The sex is real life, but told seductively. If you’re looking for the Penthouse Forum, and wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am don’t even open these books.

Both Delta of Venus and Little Birds are still available in bookstores. If you care to sample, you can click here to find Anais Nin’s “Little Birds” in its entirety.

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5 Responses

  1. I read Nin in the 80’s too – beautiful and intelligent writing. She is one of those authors that helped me to construct my concept of what it means to be a writer and a woman.

  2. I have ‘Little Birds’ in my personal collection. She seems especially subtle and delicate next to her beau, Henry Miller who could be crude, or creative, but he never did manage subtlety or nuance.

  3. I do like subtle. Alas, getting books in English is difficult. I put these on my wishlist.

  4. I, too, love Anais Nin’s work. A wonderful selection of quotes, thanks for the reminder.

  5. She’s my favorite to be sure. They just don’t write them like that anymore.

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