Anaïs Nin Myth of the Day #13

Myth #13: Anaïs Nin’s two husbands, Hugh Guiler and Rupert Pole, were unaware of each other until after Nin’s death.

Fact: Rupert Pole knew Anaïs Nin was married to Hugh Guiler shortly after meeting her in 1947 in New York. Nin and Pole made a famous cross-country trip to California during that summer, which commenced her “trapeze” life, swinging back and forth between Guiler in New York and Pole in California for the rest of her life. In 1955, after she convinced Pole that she’d divorced Guiler, Nin reluctantly married Pole in Quartzite, Arizona. For the next 11 years, Pole believed he was Nin’s legal husband, and Guiler believed he was also. The truth is that Pole was never legally married to Nin because she was still married to Guiler.

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Anais Nin's and Rupert Pole's marriage certificate

Once Nin’s diaries were about to be published, she realized her impending fame was about to bring the kind of scrutiny which would surely shed light on her bigamy. So, in 1966, she told Pole that she was still married to Guiler. She blamed Guiler for not being able to live without her and that he needed her emotional and financial support. She convinced Pole that she no longer had sexual relations with Guiler (which is most likely not true) and that her visits were necessary to keep him happy. Once Pole found out that it was Guiler’s money that had made it possible for Nin to financially help Pole and to spend much of each year with him in the first place, he agreed to the annulment of his “marriage” with Nin. The annulment occurred June 16, 1966.

Perhaps a more intriguing question is, did Guiler know about Pole? The popular belief is that he only found out after Nin’s death when she was mentioned as “Mrs. Pole” in her Los Angeles obituary. After Nin’s death in 1977, Guiler wrote a letter to Pole and in the first paragraph told him that he had been aware of his and Nin’s “special relationship” for more than ten years and that he was grateful to Pole for caring for her during her final illness. (The full text of this letter will appear in the 2011 edition of A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal.) The tone is congenial and business-like.

So, in short, while they didn’t meet until after Nin’s death, Pole and Guiler knew about each other for at least the last 10 years of her life.

Comments

3 Responses to “Anaïs Nin Myth of the Day #13”
  1. Ana says:

    She inspires me…Can I get her books on apple store?

  2. House of Incest and Under a Glass Bell should be available with Apple’s ipad store; it is possible that Delta of Venus and some of the diaries are too.

  3. When I first visited Anais at her West Washington Square Village (NYC) home the concierge in her high-rise did not know who I was asking for when I said I was there to visit Anais Nin. He thought for a moment before saying-“Oh, you must mean Mrs. Guiler” Later when I visited her at her Los Angeles home she wrote me a letter in which her anxiety surfaced about the “secret” arrangement she had with her “two lives” – I was especially touched with the innocence of the phrase “Out west I have another life.” She was quite concerned to make it clear how important it was that I not mention this to anyone – and she ended the letter with “Marguerite knows” –
    I have that letter and would like to share it on my blog –
    Keep up the good work. Wayne

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