Marguerite Young and Hugh Guiler discuss Anais Nin’s diary

Marguerite Young with the manuscript of Miss MacIntosh

Marguerite Young with the manuscript of Miss MacIntosh

Marguerite Young, author of Miss MacIntosh, My Darling, a book that Anaïs Nin championed, lived a few blocks away from the apartment on Washington Square in New York that Nin and her husband Hugh Guiler inhabited. Nin describes her first impressions of Young, recorded in the fall of 1959:

Her smile and her talk are enchanting. They are a continuation of her writing, an accompaniment to it. There is an extraordinary force of her imagination and language there… Her hair hangs absolutely straight on each side of her face. She monologues, without pauses… Everyone in her eyes is beautiful. She endows all her friends with beauty; but her own charm lies in the kaleidoscopic variations of her imagination, her power of storytelling, her human warmth. (The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. 6)

As the friendship between Nin and Young grew, Nin and Guiler often recorded their phone conversations with Young. On November 15, 1964, more than a year before Anaïs Nin’s Diary 1 was published, Young called Guiler to give her reactions to the manuscript, which Guiler apparently had lent her.

This conversation captures Young’s prophetic predictions about the impact Diary 1 would have—money, fame, a youthful following—most of which came to pass after the diary’s release in 1966, ending Nin’s long history of obscurity.

Guiler, when he could get a word in (Young, as Nin noted, was a monologist), also expresses the uniqueness of the writing (an enthusiastic response in spite of the fact he elected to not be included in any of the diaries).

The conversation turns to Nin and Guiler’s “New York dog,” Chico, who was ill, revealing the compassionate natures of Guiler and Young.

To hear the 11 minute conversation between Young and Guiler, click here.

Comments

5 Responses to “Marguerite Young and Hugh Guiler discuss Anais Nin’s diary”
  1. Wow! This is just too precious for words! It is very funny how Hugh doesn’t get a word in edgewise until he starts in about the dog’s constipation!

  2. On a more serious note: Marguerite’s intuitive nature did allow her to be prophetic when it came to people and their destiny. When she visited Montana she told the futures of each of the students that she met – and so many came true. It is so lovely to hear her voice again as it was in natural conversation, not reading from her book, just talking…These recordings are real treasures, and part of the history of American literature. Thank you for making them available.
    Wayne

  3. Thank you for your valuable comments, Wayne. There are many, many conversations recorded for posterity, and we plan to post some more in the future.

  4. Stephanie Stambaugh says:

    I’m curious to know if Hugh was closer to Marguerite than Nin was and was recording conversations a habit they made with many of their friends? Thank you for bringing us more and more avenues into Nin’s life.

  5. Stephanie, since Hugh is absent from the diary, it’s unclear if he was closer to Marguerite than Anais, and that will require some research. Wayne might actually know, since he knew all of them. As for whose conversations were recorded, it was chiefly Marguerite, very few others.

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