There are two mythical diaries that Nin readers have most likely heard of, but know little or nothing about: The Book of Pain and The Book of Music, both begun shortly after Nin was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in late 1974. Having gone through horrific surgeries that left Nin “mutilated,” as she put it, she sought to write out her feelings and describe her tribulations in these two diaries. The Book of Pain was where Nin wrote out the horrors of cancer, whereas The Book of Music was to be the repository for the kind of writing that heals…however, it quickly became an extension of The Book of Pain.
There are two other resources that describe Nin’s illness and death to date: Barbara Kraft’s memoir Anaïs Nin: The Last Days, and Deirdre Bair’s biography on Nin, which includes a chapter on the subject. But we have yet to really examine what Nin herself wrote, what she experienced and how she felt about it. In this podcast, we find out, excruciatingly. The podcast ends with Nin describing Balinese rituals surrounding death, a philosophy she found so comforting that she expressed it in the last sentence of the final volume of The Diary of Anaïs Nin: “Let me think of death as the Balinese do, as a flight to another life, a joyous transformation, a release of our spirit so it might visit all other lives.”
Run time: 15 minutes. Includes a portion of the last known recording of Anaïs Nin.
CAUTION: Some listeners may find the content disturbing.
You can listen to the podcast here.
You can listen via iTunes here.