Newly discovered letters to/from Anais Nin and her father

There has long been speculation on whether Anais Nin in fact had an incestuous affair with her father, in spite of her graphic accounts in her diary (the unexpurgated Incest). Some claim the affair was fabricated, that it was a psychological experiment in which Nin wrote out her desires instead of acting upon them. Others claim Anais was lured into the relationship, and it has been said that it was the other way around. Deirdre Bair mentions in her biography of Nin that all correspondence between the two during this time was destroyed, but recently a sorted, dated collection of letters between Nin and her father have surfaced. Nin did not destroy the letters, as Bair claims, but instead kept a very complete collection in a folder. We have begun to transcribe and translate the letters…the first group appears in Vol. 6 of A Cafe in Space. Do the letters finally answer the question of incest once and for all, or do they simply raise more questions? Each reader has to make his or her own conclusion, which is usual in the world of Anais Nin.

One of the many letters to Anais Nin from her father

To read more about Joaquin Nin, get Britt Arenander’s Anais Nin’s Lost World: Paris in Words and Pictures, 1924-1939, which has descriptions and an interactive map that includes his house in Paris.

To see a sample or to purchase Anaïs Nin’s Lost World, click here.

To view a sample interactive map drawn from the book, click here.

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  1. The selection that appears in Vol. 6 of A Cafe in Space is only the first letters from April 1933 to July 1933. The entire collection goes all the way to 1940, and there are more than 100 letters in all. The more intense the relationship got between Anais and her father, the more careful she became to make and keep carbons of her letters. The understanding was that each would destroy the other’s letters after reading. Joaquin kept his end of the bargain–Anais did not.

  2. I ( a lot of people I’m sure) have been waiting for this!
    Thank God and Anais that she didn’t keep the promise with her father but kept the letters themselves. That is what a writer is all about.
    I’m thrilled to imagine a day when the collection will be bound up in a book!

  3. The one letter that you posted here seems undoubtedly pointing to the fact that Anaïs and her father did have sex..

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