The year after Anais Nin’s longtime agent and diary editor, Gunther Stuhlmann, died, I paid a visit to his wife, Barbara, in their hand-built house in the Berkshires. It was a sad visit; Gunther used to fill every room with his bigness—physically, intellectually, spiritually, and sonically—and now in his place was a deafening emptiness, a vacuum, and we were constantly aware of it.
When Gunther died, so did his award-winning and long-lived (19 annual issues, 1983-2001) ANAIS: An International Journal. In fact, Nin Trustee Rupert Pole issued a public statement that all distribution would cease immediately.
But when Barbara and I went down into her basement, there were boxes upon boxes of all 19 issues piled high—we knew we had to find a way to continue to put these treasures into readers’ hands, statement or no statement.
So, we packed up a load, and I took them home and have been distributing them ever since, Barbara sending me more copies as needed.
But since Barbara died early last year, I have come to realize whatever I have left in stock is the end of the line.
Yesterday, someone ordered Volume 1, and in the container there was only one left. I am mailing it out today, not without some emotion.
However, Barbara and I had agreed that digitizing ANAIS was another way we could continue to put it into readers’ hands. And so, on the same day that I am mailing out the last Volume 1, I am proud to announce the e-publication of the same issue.
In ANAIS, Gunther Stuhlmann’s bigness can still be felt, and there is still much we can learn from him and those who fill this premier issue’s pages.