Slut-Shaming Anaïs Nin, 2019: Enough!

Meghan Markle has stirred up some waves by using Anaïs Nin’s “I must be a mermaid” quote from The Four-Chambered Heart as inspiration for her collaboration with the British edition of Vogue. Consequently, articles have popped up scrutinizing just who this Anaïs Nin is. One such article, which was published today (August 5, 2019) by Brinkwire and written by an anonymous author, portrays Anaïs Nin (and Henry Miller) in a most unflattering light and is riddled with errors and plain, old-fashioned venom. In order to shed light on the actual truth about who Nin was, I am offering some insight and corrections below.

“The first time Henry Miller made love to Anais Nin, he pounced on her with such ferocity that she felt she’d been ravished ‘by a cannibal’.” [Not true—he actually asked her afterward: “You were expecting more brutality?”]

“It was 1932 and the 20th century’s most notorious writers of erotica were together at her rented chateau outside Paris.” [Neither of them had yet written “erotica.” That did not begin until around 1940 when both were in New York. And her house, which was formerly a living quarters for wine workers, was anything but a “chateau.”]

“Nin’s husband was a rich banker, so she had paid for the impoverished Miller to travel from Dijon, where he was eking out a living as a teacher.” [Nin’s husband had just taken a huge salary cut, and it was drastic enough that he and Nin gave up living in Paris and moved to Louveciennes, a suburb where the rent was cheaper.]

“But even a seasoned philanderer such as Nin was taken by surprise when Miller threw her to the ground and ‘attacked’ her. She was utterly smitten.” [Nin, at this time, had never had sex with any other man other than her husband—she was hardly a “philanderer.” And Miller never threw her to the ground or “attacked” her. Read the diary Henry and June.]

“Nin, who died in 1977 aged 73, was once derided as a ‘monster of self-centredness whose artistic pretensions now seem grotesque’. Yet today her aphorisms are frequently quoted online by a growing legion of fans who are rediscovering her.” [Nin was never attacked this way during her lifetime. The “monster” quote comes from a puritanical reaction to the morally scathing posthumous biography of Nin by Deirdre Bair, which, in spite of its excellent scholarship, reads like an indictment of a woman guilty of high crimes.]

“Nin was a wildly promiscuous woman whose bold sexual experimentation included bigamy, a menage a trois, incest with her own father and writing a book about sexual perversion so sordid — including paedophilia and necrophilia — that even today online retailer Amazon hides it in its ‘adult content dungeon’. She certainly hasn’t always been a fashionable name to drop into conversation.” [The author is probably writing about Auletris: Erotica (Sky Blue Press, 2016), which is clearly no longer in the dungeon.]

“Born in 1903 near Paris to a Spanish-Cuban father and French-Danish mother who split up when she was eight, the beautiful Nin earned a reputation for her untrammelled sex life long before anyone noticed her writing.” [First, she was ten when her father left the family. Second, her highly-regarded book D.H. Lawerence: An Unprofessional Study was written before she knew Miller, her first extramarital lover.]

Meghan Markle

“As she recorded in her diaries and in novels that were thinly disguised memoirs, Nin repaid his devotion by cheating on him relentlessly with the many men who became besotted with her.” [Miller also “cheated” on her, even with prostitutes. Funny, no mention of that.]

“She was fixated with Freud’s theories of psychoanalysis and seduced two leading practitioners who agreed to analyse her.” [First of all, her first analyst, Rene Allendy, was the one who lured Nin to a hotel room where he brandished a whip, not the other way around. As for Rank, the seduction was mutual.]

“She even briefly practised as a ‘shrink’ herself — a deeply unethical one — having sex with her patients on her couch and cheekily later complaining that she couldn’t help but want to ‘intercede’ in their problems.” [I have studied Nin for nearly 30 years and know of no account of her having sex with her patients on her couch. I defy anyone to quote and cite such a passage by anyone who was present then.]

“In fact [Delta of Venus] had never been intended for publication as [Nin] had written it to order, at a dollar a page, in the 1930s for a millionaire businessman in Paris. ‘More porn, less poetry,’ she accurately explained.” [Nin, at Miller’s suggestion, didn’t write erotica until after she returned to New York in late 1939. And the “collector” was an American, not a Parisian. Read the diary Mirages.]

“It was the affair with Miller that helped define her. It was in the early 1930s when Nin, then in her late 20s, met the impoverished, foul-mouthed and bullying author.” [Miller was not a “bully.” He was a robust yet gentle lover and an effective editor of Nin’s work.]

“Soon after, Nin embarked on an affair with the equally lascivious Miller. After that first sexual encounter in the garden, she recorded how in trysts he would treat her like a prostitute, asking her to whip him or crawl on her hands and knees. ‘It is like a forest fire, to be with him,’ she confessed.” [Nin’s first sexual encounter with Miller was at his hotel in Paris, not a garden. And Miller was a not a sadist.]

“Nin became obsessed with [June] Miller and they clearly had a sexual dalliance. In her diaries, she mused about the attractions of sapphism and how the ‘passivity’ of the woman’s role in sex with men ‘suffocates me’.” [Nin and June Miller never had a consummated sexual encounter.]

“When this menage a trois was portrayed in the 1990 film Henry & June — in which Uma Thurman played June — it won a U.S. film classification usually reserved for hardcore pornography.” [Unfairly so, as almost every critic agrees.]

“[Nin] never expressed anything other than delight over the shocking liaison [incest with her father], which perfectly illustrated Nin’s complete inability to feel guilt. [Untrue—the affair deeply conflicted her. Read the diary Incest.]

Anais Nin, 1940s

“For years, Nin was able to keep up a precarious trans-America balancing act (she called it her ‘bicoastal trapeze’), alternating between Pole’s spartan log cabin in the wilds of Arizona, and Guiler’s luxurious flat in New York — fobbing off each man that she occasionally needed to get away for work or relaxation.” [First, they never lived in Arizona. Second, Pole was the one taking money from Nin. Read the diary Trapeze.]

“It never occurred to Nin to consider something as tediously conventional as divorce: she married Pole bigamously in 1955, choosing for the ceremony a remote desert village in Arizona, where she hoped marriage records would be hard to find.” [It was Pole who insisted on marrying her in Arizona—she did not want this, but relented to keep Pole happy. And Nin did consider divorce, but her economic status would have been decimated if she left Guiler.]

“Even after being heavily censored, [the originally published Diaries] remained jaw-droppingly candid about her sexual history and her many lovers — an international array of celebrities including Miller and fellow writers Edmund Wilson and Antonin Artaud, and Freud’s colleague, the famous psychiatrist Otto Rank — and of course her father.” [The original edited Diaries did not clearly assert (or even strongly hint) that she had multiple lovers. This was not known until after 1986, when the unexpurgated diaries began coming out.]

“A friend recounted how they once stopped their car at a petrol station and Nin was surprisingly friendly to all the attendants and mechanics. ‘Oh yes,’ she explained. ‘I sleep with all the men here.’” [That account, by Lila Rosenblum, is untrue. Nin carefully recorded her affairs, even the most insignificant, and nowhere does she write about having sex with mechanics.]

“Nin never had children, although in 1942 she aborted a child at six months. She later admitted she was never sure whether the child was her father’s or Miller’s.” [This abortion, made famous in her diary Incest, was in 1934, and Nin never considered her own father as the father of the child. She was sure it was Miller.]

While these corrections will most likely not reach the many readers of the Brinkwire article, or those it will in turn spawn, at least there is a written rebuttal here. Nin scholarship, for at least the last three decades, has been compromised with misstatements, inaccuracies, puritanical poison pens, all of which add up to slut-shaming. It’s time to set the record straight. The best way to do this is to read her work and do some basic research before exploiting Nin and Markle in a public forum.

The see the original Brinkwire article, click here.

Anthology of A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal is here!

Not only are we celebrating Anaïs Nin’s 116th birthday, which occurs on February 21, 2019, but also the publication of A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal, Anthology 2003-2018.

Anaïs Nin was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine on February 21, 1903. A Café in Space was born 100 years later, 15 volumes of which were published annually. The legacy of the journal is captured in a one-of-a-kind anthology, some 400 pages of the best representative work collected over the 15 years of its existence.

The authors’ list is quite impressive:

Anaïs Nin
Henry Miller (Nin’s former lover)
Alfred Perlès (Miller’s best friend)
Hugh Guiler (Nin’s “east coast” husband)
Joaquín Nin (Nin’s father)
Rupert Pole (Nin’s “west coast” husband)
Joaquín Nin-Culmell (Nin’s younger brother)
Eduardo Sánchez (Nin’s cousin)
John Ferrone (Nin’s editor)
Lanny Baldwin (Nin’s 1940s love interest)
John W. Bagnole (Miller scholar)
Simon Dubois Boucheraud (Nin scholar)
Sarah B. Burghauser (Nin scholar)
Ruth Charnock (Nin scholar)
Béatrice Commengé (Nin’s French translator)
James M. Decker (Miller scholar)
Lynette Felber (Nin/Miller scholar)
Janet Fitch (American novelist)
Lana Fox (erotic writer)
Benjamin Franklin V (Nin scholar)
Kennedy Gammage (poet and Durrell scholar)
David Green (Durrell scholar)
Anita Jarczok (Nin scholar)
Dawn Kaczmar (English scholar)
Jane Eblen Keller (Durrell/Nin scholar)
Harry Kiakis (friend of Miller)
Richard Pine (Durrell scholar)
Eduardo Pineda (historian)
Bruce Redwine (Durrell scholar)
Steven Reigns (Nin scholar)
Chrissi Sepe (novelist)
Colette Standish (visual artist)
Yuko Yaguchi (Nin scholar and Japanese translator)

This talented and diverse group of contributors best represents  A Café in Space and offers insight into Nin, Miller, Durrell, and other contemporaries, including Rebecca West, Evelyn Hinz, Helba Huara and Luis Buñuel.

Never-before-published photographs of Anaïs Nin adorn the covers of the anthology, and several rare photos are included in the contents.

Articles include diary entries by Nin and her correspondence with many of her contemporaries and family members, revealing details of events previously unknown to the public, including a series of letters to and from her father during the incest period. There are offerings by some of the world’s most highly regarded Nin, Miller and Durrell scholars on far-ranging but always relevant topics, including Nin’s rise to fame, how she is regarded in the media, her history of readership in Japan, how she influenced some of today’s writers, the story behind Nin biographies, thoughtful looks at today’s studies on Nin, Miller and Durrell, and accounts of visits to some of the most iconic locations frequented by the “three musketeers” in France. Short fiction, art and poetry reflect Nin’s influence on today’s writers, and there are book reviews on studies of each of the “musketeers.”

This anthology is a grand adieu from the only Nin-dedicated literary journal in print today and will give the reader much to savor, something to dip into whenever the spirit is moved, or perhaps to binge on to satisfy the hunger for material on one of the most important writers of the twentieth century, whose influence reaches well into the twenty-first.

To purchase the print version of the Café in Space anthology, click here.

To purchase a digital version, click here.

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Anaïs Nin Podcast 34: How A Café in Space was born

In 2003, 100 years after the birth of Anaïs Nin, the first volume of the only current literary journal dedicated to Nin was born too. It came on the heels of the demise of ANAIS: An International Journal after its editor, Gunther Stuhlmann, died in 2002, before he was able to produce a special centennial issue the following year.

Paul Herron, a frequent contributor to ANAIS, was devastated by the loss of his friend and mentor, not to mention the fact that a huge void in Nin studies had suddenly opened up. Only a few months later, Herron attended a Lawrence Durrell conference in Ottawa, Canada, where he was approached by another of his mentors, Roger Jackson, the Miller publisher who inspired him to produce Anaïs Nin: A Book of Mirrors (1996), and encouraged him to think about filling the gap in Nin scholarship himself. At first, the idea intimidated him because of his deep respect for Stuhlmann’s work, something he felt was untouchable. But certain travels and events soon changed his mind, some of which is revealed here for the first time.

Recorded on the eve of the publication of the Café in Space anthology (2003-2018), this podcast is Paul Herron’s story of how it all began.

Run time: 16:38

To listen to the podcast in iTunes, click here.

To listen without iTunes, click here.

To order a print copy of the Café in Space anthology, click here.

To order a digital copy, click here.

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Recent publications by or about Anaïs Nin: A handy guide

It’s easy to get lost in Anaïs Nin’s literary ocean without a guide, so we have created a list ofrecent publications by Nin or about her, in a relatively chronological reverse order, along with a few faves.

cafe152018: A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal, Vol. 15. Contains original pieces by Anaïs Nin and Rupert Pole; essays by several renowned scholars and writers; rare photographs; interviews with Nin notables including one of the characters of Collages, Nobuko Albery.

 

lostworld2017: Anaïs Nin’s Lost World: Paris in Words and Pictures, 1924-1939 by Britt Arenander. A guidebook to the Paris of Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller, with complete historical documentation and more than fifty photographs of the literary duo’s favorite haunts, both then and now.

 

trapeze2017: Trapeze: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1947-1955. The long-awaited diary that chronicles the beginning of Nin’s “double” life with husband Hugh Guiler in New York and lover Rupert Pole in California. A complete rendering of the rigors, both physical and psychological, of a bicoastal affair with two very different men.

 

cafe142017: A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal, Vol. 14. Excerpts from Nin’s unpublished correspondence and much more.

 

 

auletris2016: Auletris: Erotica, a long-lost collection of Nin erotica consisting of two main stories: “Life in Provincetown” and “Marcel,” much of which had never been published before.

 

 

Other favorites include:

miragesMirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1939-1947. The first new Nin diary in seventeen years, Mirages is the record of Nin’s arrival in New York from Paris at the dawn of war and her mighty struggles as a woman and writer adapting to a harsher world. Features Henry Miller, Gonzalo More, Gore Vidal, and finally Rupert Pole.

 

quotableThe Quotable Anaïs Nin, a thematic collection of 365 of Nin’s famous (and occasionally obscure) quotations, with citations. You will note the poem “Risk” does not appear here, since it has been mistakenly attributed to Nin for decades. For verified quotes with sources, this is the book you need.

 

portableThe Portable Anaïs Nin, a sampling of all genres of Nin’s writing, in chronological order with comments by renowned Nin scholar Benjamin Franklin V. Highly recommended for first-time Nin readers or anyone who wants a complete collection in one book.

Visualizing Anaïs Nin’s and Henry Miller’s relationships

The 1930s was a volatile decade for Anaïs Nin. At its dawn, she was a sheltered housewife and aspiring writer with nearly no grand life experiences. At its end, she was the author of three highly-regarded Paris publications (D. H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study; The House of Incest; The Winter of Artifice), and the lover of many men, including Henry Miller, Gonzalo More, Otto Rank, René Allendy, and her own father, Joaquín Nin. Arguably, it was her meeting of Henry Miller in late 1931 that served as the catalyst for much of her transformation as a woman and as an artist.

But as the decade wore on, some of the relationships died while others bloomed; hers with Miller persisted, but by 1937 Nin was becoming increasingly aware of stark contrast in their relationships with others, and with each other. Nin became annoyed with Miller’s friends, some of whom she called “white trash”; at the time Miller was at the head of a group of “disciples” that included Alfred Perlès, Michael Fraenkel, David Edgar and Abe Rattner, none of whom Nin had any respect for. She sometimes referred to them as “minor Henrys” or a pack of dogs. Nin represented the fundamental difference in her and Miller’s approach to relationships by drawing two diagrams.

About Nin’s relationships, she said: “Woman sits in the center and brings the vaster peripheral into the center. I bring the Tibet, Lao-tze—philosophy—creation as represented by Henry. I go out little to the periphery.” At her core lie Nin’s relationships with Miller, Gonzalo and Lawrence and Nancy Durrell. On the periphery lie “[Conrad] Moricand, [Jean] Cateret, [her near-amorous friend] Elena or others who personally I don’t feel: they could die, I would not mind: Stuart Gilbert, Charpentier, Svalberg, Laura, Dorrey.”

RelationshipsAN

About Henry, Nin says: “Henry lives in the periphery—he seeks the fragments. I say this diminishes the intensity, makes for collective writing (Max, newspaper types, all kinds of types.”

RelationshipsHM

The core is blank; the periphery consists of: “Brassai, [Abe] Rattner, [David] Edgar, all sorts and kinds of other friends of whom he says: they could die I would not care.”

Nin says: “I say to Henry: ‘I swing into your rhythm not to sit alone in the center—as all women do—lamenting. It is not natural to me, but necessary.’ Henry does not understand this. He denies the reality of all this—but says at the end: ‘Man’s impersonal world masks the personal.’ […] He says, ‘We are friends.’ I say: ‘We are not friends. We are exaggerated men and women—we represent others only exaggeratedly.’”

Get the final issue of A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal, Volume 15 (2018) here

Order the new edition of Anaïs Nin’s Lost World: Paris in Words and Pictures, 1924-1939 here.

Listen to episode 31 of The Anaïs Nin Podcast, in which Steven Reigns discusses the mystery surrounding Evelyn Hinz, the woman Nin chose as her “official” biographer. With iTunes; Without iTunes

Podcast 31: Evelyn Hinz, Anaïs Nin’s “official” biographer with Steven Reigns

Mystery has surrounded the never-produced biography that Canadian scholar Evelyn Hinz was appointed by Anaïs Nin to do for decades. Why did it never appear? Why was a single page never shown? And where is it today? Did it ever exist? Los Angeles poet and educator—and Nin aficionado—Steven Reigns wanted to know, so some years after Hinz’s death, he approached her widower, John Teunissen, who graciously granted Steven an interview in which he answered his questions and also dropped a bombshell in the process. There were plenty of politics, bad blood, intrigue and some radical decisions made by both Teunissen and The Anaïs Nin Trust that few know about.

HinzTeun
Steven Reigns’ interview appears in Volume 15 of A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal and is a must-read for anyone–scholars, readers and fans alike–with an interest in Anaïs Nin and her biographers.

Run time: 42 minutes

To listen with iTunes, click here.

To listen without iTunes, click here.

To order a print copy of Vol. 15 of A Café in Space, click here.

To order a digital copy of Vol. 15, click here.

 

Steven Reigns is a Los Angeles-based poet, educator, and was appointed the first City Poet of West Hollywood. He organized three of the largest Anaïs Nin events in the past twenty years, one being “Anaïs Nin @ 105” at the Hammer Museum in 2008 and most recently he co-produced “The Allure of Anaïs Nin” at Antioch University Santa Barbara. He has published dozens of chapbooks, poetry collections, and edited four anthologies.  He holds a BA in Creative Writing from USF, a Master of Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, and is an eleven-time recipient of LA City’s Department of Cultural Affairs’ Artist in Residency Grant program. He edited My Life is Poetry, featuring his students in the first-ever autobiographical poetry workshop for LGBT seniors, and has taught writing workshops around the country to LGBT youth and people living with HIV. Visit him at www.stevenreigns.com.

Podcast 28: A brief history of journals dedicated to Anaïs Nin

Until after Anaïs Nin published her blockbuster Diary of Anaïs Nin in 1966, there had been very few critical studies of her work. One notable exception was Oliver Evans’ article “Anaïs Nin and the Discovery of Inner Space” in the Fall 1962 issue of Prairie Schooner. His book-length analysis didn’t appear until 1968, but soon thereafter, scholars such as Richard Centing, Benjamin Franklin V, Duane Schneider, Philip K. Jason, and Evelyn Hinz began to take Nin’s work seriously and wrote about it.

Centing and Franklin were the co-founders and co-editors of the first periodical dedicated to Nin, which they called Under the Sign of Pisces: Anaïs Nin and her Circle, a quarterly that debuted at the beginning of 1970.

Inaugural issue of Under the Sign of Pisces

Inaugural issue of Under the Sign of Pisces

 

Nin was a tough critic of those who critiqued her work; Oliver Evans was a victim of her dissatisfaction, as was, eventually, Benjamin Franklin V. Franklin says that he was “fired” by Centing in 1973 at the bequest of Nin. The reasons are explained in Episode 28 of The Anaïs Nin Podcast.

Pisces had a long run, ending in 1981, after which the void was filled by Gunther Stuhlmann’s ANAIS: An International Journal. The story behind how this journal came to be and lasted for 19 annual issues is related by Paul Herron, who knew Stuhlmann personally, and who was inspired to create the most recent Nin journal, A Café in Space.

Herron details how Café came to be, who has been in its pages, how by pure luck he was able to include Janet Fitch (White Oleander) in the first annual volume, and attempts to explain why volume 15 (2018) will be the last.

Run time: 22 minutes

To listen to the podcast with iTunes, click here.

To listen without iTunes, click here.

To view past issues of A Café in Space, click here.

To find out how to submit work to Volume 15, click here.

Final Annual Volume of A Café in Space Announced

Sky Blue Press has announced that the upcoming Volume 15 of A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal will be the final annual issue.

Café began in 2003 as part of the celebration of Anaïs Nin’s centennial, and it was unsure that a second volume would ever be published. However, the response to Vol. 1 was so great, that Vol. 2 was released the following year; it has been an annual event every year since, with a collection of dozens of excerpts from Nin’s unpublished diaries and contributions from more than 100 writers, scholars, poets and artists from around the world.

CafeVol14-Cover-Draft-1In preparation for this final volume, Sky Blue Press is seeking submissions now.

Academic/non-academic articles concerning Nin and her circle (Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrell, Antonin Artaud, Marcel Proust, Jean Genet, Henri Michaux, Djuna Barnes, James Leo Herlihy, et al.) are especially valuable; we also consider short fiction, poetry, art, photography, travel memoir if they are somehow Nin-related or inspired.

Sky Blue Press asks that responses and proposals be sent to skybluepress @ skybluepress.com. They will require copy by the end of the year so that the Feb. 21, 2018 deadline can be met.

An anthology of the best of Vols. 1-15 will be released in 2019.

To see or purchase Vols. 1-14, click here.

Anais Nin Podcast 26: Trapeze: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, 1947-1955

In this episode, Paul Herron, editor of Sky Blue Press, discusses the editing process of the new Anaïs Nin diary, Trapeze, which has just been officially released.

As the title of the diary suggests, this is the story of how Nin was able to pull off what was—and still is—the seemingly impossible feat of maintaining two men, two homes, two lives on opposite sides of the continent without either man knowing about the other. The idea that Nin’s husband, Hugh Guiler, know about Nin’s lover, Rupert Pole, is debunked. With the help of loyal friends, including Guiler’s maid, and countless fabrications, explanations, fictional employers and assignments, she was able to spend about half the year, on and off, with each man and live within two completely opposing worlds. New York was the center of art world and internationalism, high-energy, and Nin moved in vast social circles, living what she called a “big life” with Guiler. In California, she was with Pole, a forest ranger, in a cabin at the foot of the mountains in Sierra Madre, a sleepy town disconnected from the rest of the world, in the middle of nature, and the pace was almost impossibly slow. Each man had his attributes that Nin found irresistible, and yet each man’s negative traits drove Nin mad, even to the point where she found herself not going TO each man, but FLEEING from each. And yet, it was a lifestyle she maintained for the rest of her life, and a story that is only now exposed to the public in full, in Nin’s own words.

ruperthelmet

Rupert Pole, 1950s

Herron also discusses the back-stories of Trapeze, including the fact that Nin was increasingly excluded from the American literary world, and her work was chastised by friend and foe alike to the point where she was ready to give up on her writing career altogether.

Also discussed is one of the major supporting characters in Nin’s life at the time—James (Jim) Leo Herilhy, who would later achieve fame with his novels, including Midnight Cowboy. Herlihy not only supported Nin’s writing at the very time when no one else did, he also know Guiler and Pole well enough to give Nin objective and honest feedback on her relationships with them in his eloquent correspondence to her, which is quoted in this podcast.

Run time: 18 minutes

To listen with iTunes, click here.

To listen without iTunes, click here.

This podcast is sponsored by Trapeze, which can be ordered as follows:

To order the hardcover edition at a discounted price, click here.

To order a Kindle app edition, click here.

Richard Centing, co-founder of first Anais Nin periodical, has passed

Richard Centing, of the Ohio State University Libraries, an early Anais Nin supporter, passed away in January of this year, I just learned.

Along with Benjamin Franklin V, Centing produced the first Nin periodical, Under the Sign of Pisces, beginning in 1970 and running until 1981, after which Centing published a similar publication, Seahorse. These publications were what Anais Nin called “a café in space,” where readers and writers could “gather” in their pages.

The longevity of Centing’s periodicals was one of the driving forces behind the decision made by Rupert Pole and Gunther Stuhlmann to produce the annual ANAIS: An International Journal, which ran an amazing 19 issues until Stuhlmann’s death in 2002. A Café in Space: The Anais Nin Literary Journal has carried on the tradition ever since. But it all began with Richard Centing’s idea some 47 years ago.

Richard was the very first Nin scholar I met, back in 1996, in Columbus. He kindly gave me the “grand tour” of the library’s Nin-related holdings, and presented me with many gifts, including a poster promoting Nin’s novels published by Swallow Press, which hangs in my office. He was the first scholar to encourage me with my first project, Anais Nin: A Book of Mirrors. After I showed him the manuscript, he said to me: “This is important work,” which went a long way in validating my efforts. Not only did he contribute an article and photographs to the anthology, he guided me in promoting it after it was printed. I remember him as a kind and generous man.

To read Richard Centing’s obituary, click here.

RC&AN&BFV

Richard Centing (l), Anais Nin, Benjamin Franklin V

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