Anaïs Nin Myth of the Day #15

Myth #15: Rupert Pole “romanticized” the story of his first meeting of Anaïs Nin.

After Anaïs Nin’s death in 1977, Rupert Pole loved to tell the story of how he met her, the great love of his life, for the first time. In early 1947, they had both been invited to the same party, and they happened to get into the same elevator on their way up. He said one of the first things he and Anaïs noticed were each other’s ink-stained hands, which became the basis for their conversation that night—they both worked at print shops. It has been said in at least one Nin study that there was no basis for his description, that Nin’s version of the evening was quite different than Pole’s, that she never mentioned having ink on her hands, nor on his, in any of her writings. The conclusion was that Pole invented these details in a “romanticized” and “charming” version of the story.

However, in one of Anaïs Nin’s final unpublished diaries, she recalls the meeting:

Rupert Pole in 1943, 4 years prior to meeting Nin
The young Rupert Pole

There was a party at the Chelsea Hotel, the old fashioned Hotel writers loved. I wore a black taffeta long skirt and a blouse. I entered the elevator. A very tall, very slender young man lowered his head to see the other passengers. I suddenly became aware of large eyes, brown, green, gold, eyes the color of Venice. His eyelashes were dark and very thick. His eyebrows very hairy. He had a long slender neck. This whole design of his neck and shoulders was of extreme stylization and yet he looked sturdy. We happened to sit on a couch. And then it was we noticed each other’s hands: ink stained only as printers get stained. We talked about printing. He was an actor, and between jobs he helped his friend to print Xmas cards. And I was printing my own books. He appeared to me the ideal figure for Paul in the Children of the Albatross.

While this memory was recorded late in Nin’s life, it matches Pole’s version of the story closely, disproving the argument of romanticized embellishment.

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  1. Dear Paul:

    Thank you for sharing about my dear friend and employer Rupert Pole.


    Jan-Christine Johnson
    Washington DC

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