Books rarely remain as relevant as Anaïs Nin’s The Novel of the Future, which was originally published in 1968. America then was in many ways the same as today—absence of imagination and poetics in its literature, increasing hostility to art, national hardness and callousness, and violence in place of imagination. Nin’s aim in her work was to provide a connection with the unconscious and, as Jung once put it, “proceed from the dream outward,” resulting in what she called “psychological truth” in fiction.
When Nin met resistance and outright hostility to her novels in the 1940s, instead of acquiescing to her critics by making them more “realistic,” with sequential plots, crisply defined characters, beginnings, middles and ends, she published two documents explaining the value and purpose of her work. The first was Realism and Reality (1946), and the next was On Writing (1947), both published by Alicat Bookshop.
She also embarked on a lecture tour to bring her thoughts directly to her audiences, and this was a pattern she followed for the rest of her life—to get people thinking about tapping the vast unconscious and converting subterranean dreams into literature. In this sense, she was in accord with the surrealists.
Once the Diary of Anaïs Nin (1966) made her famous, she felt at liberty to incorporate the Alicat chapbooks and expand on the thoughts laid out in them in one book—and the result was The Novel of the Future. There are few publications which so clearly and deeply explore the creative process—and now The Novel of the Future is available as a digital book, as well it should be since most of Nin’s fiction is digitally available.
With chapters entitled “Proceed from the Dream Outward,” “Abstraction,” “Writing Fiction,” “Genesis,” “Diary Versus Fiction,” and “Novel of the Future,” Nin provides a blueprint for young writers seeking to rebel against the deadness of modern American fiction and produce psychological truth in their work.
“This book is dedicated to sensitive Americans,” Nin says. “May they create a sensitive America.”
To preview or purchase The Novel of the Future, click here.
Anaïs Nin is one of the most often quoted authors on the web. If you do a simple search, tens of thousands of sites appear, each with dozens of quotations that have inspired thousands of viewers to repost them, tweet them, collect them, print them on posters, t-shirts, cups, bookmarks, and just about every imaginable surface. The cut-and-paste nature of the internet, however, does not always lend itself to accuracy or even veracity—there many quotations that contain typos, omissions and alterations, and there are also plenty that are wrongly attributed to Nin.
We have, on this blog, tried our best to keep readers aware of these problems, including rectifying the misattributions of “Risk” (“And the day came when the risk…”) and “Good things happen to those who hustle,” the authors of which are apparently Elizabeth Appell and Chuck Noll, respectively. But we decided to go a step further, and that was to collect and cite as many meaningful Nin quotes as we could in The Quotable Anaïs Nin, which contains 365 quotations with the titles and page numbers of the publications from which they come.
A unique feature of the Quotable is the presence of several quotations that come from Nin’s unpublished work. As we know, she wrote at least 35,000 pages in her diary, and of this a large portion has either ended up on the cutting room floor or hasn’t yet been published. Within this vast material are many gems that have been culled from this inaccessible material and made public for the first time in Quotable.
The Quotable Anaïs Nin not only offers accurate quotations and sources, it provides readers with insightful and inspiring thoughts, one for each day of the year.
Nin scholar Benjamin Franklin V has culled more than 750 Anais Nin fictional characters, naming them, describing them, and cross-referencing them with the books in which they appear. He also has compiled a list of excerpts taken from Nin’s unpublished diaries and indexed them, providing Nin fans and scholars alike with a resource found nowhere else.
What makes the electronic version of the Anais Nin Character Dictionary and Index to Diary Excerpts even more valuable is the fact it is electronically searchable.
To order the digital version of Anais Nin Character Dictionary and Index to Diary excerpts, click here.
To order the print version, click here.