Call For Papers: A Cafe in Space, Volume 13

A Café in Space: The Anais Nin Literary Journal seeks contributions for its next issue, which debuts Feb. 21, 2016. See guidelines below:

Cafe121. Content must at least peripherally involve Anais Nin, Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrell, or members of their outer circle, including those who influenced their writing. Articles can be academic in nature, or more general, depending on topic.

2. Essays should be in the realm of 2,000-6,000 words, but we’re flexible depending upon topic.

3. We accept poetry as long as there is a correlation, at least in spirit, to Anais Nin.

4. We accept short erotic fiction if it is in the spirit of or inspired by Anais Nin.

5. We accept visual art, including photographs as long as it relates to Anais Nin et al.

6. Deadline for proposals is the end of August 2015. Deadline for final drafts is December 1, 2015.

Submissions, inquiries and proposals can be sent to skybluepress @ skybluepress . com

We will consider submissions for future issues of A Café in Space based on room, theme, or other factors.

To better understand A Café in Space, we recommend purchasing a recent issue on Amazon or any other electronic vendor before submitting. Print copies can be ordered from http://www.skybluepress.org

–Paul Herron, Editor, Sky Blue Press

Paul Herron dishes on Anais Nin with Rose Caraway

Rose Caraway

Rose Caraway

Erotic writer/blogger/podcaster Rose Caraway (found on Twitter as @RoseCaraway) recently had me as a guest on The Kiss Me Quick’s Erotic Podcast, and we discuss Anais Nin’s erotica (with an excerpt from a previously unknown erotic story), her use of language, sexuality, fiction, diary, and writing style. We take a sneak peek at the upcoming Trapeze: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, 1947-1955, which chronicles Nin’s perilous double life with two husbands. We ponder Nin’s unpublished erotic storyMontparnasse,” which is unlike anything in Delta of Venus or Little Birds and try to reason why she wrote the story in the first place. Was it just an example of bad writing, or was it the result of something her anonymous collector had said? Find out here. Run time: just over an hour.

To listen to the podcast in iTunes, click here.

To listen to the podcast without iTunes, click here.

Anais Nin Podcast #6: Nin’s Fiction: A Blueprint of the Pysche

Episode six of The Anaïs Nin Podcast features an interview with Brazilian poet Marina Ferrer, whose understanding of Anaïs Nin’s writing is so profound that I feel she has taught me a new way, a clearer way, to approach Nin’s most neglected work—her fiction. If I, who have been studying Nin for a quarter century, feel this way, I am certain you will too.

Marina Ferrer

Marina Ferrer

“Keep your mind open,” Ferrer advises new Nin readers. “You have to approach her without prejudice. Avoid the expectation that you are going to be told a story like Harry Potter. You have to be willing to work psychologically. Accept Anaïs as she comes—don’t impose what you think literature is on her writing or you are going to be fighting her all the way to the end of the book.”

Listen as Ferrer likens Nin’s characters to a blueprint of the psyche and asserts that we all have “cities of the interior” in which several versions of ourselves live, each beckoned to the surface by different external circumstances. Reading Nin, then, raises our own self-awareness, which is perhaps the greatest gift an author can give readers.

Run time: 15 minutes.

To listen to the podcast on iTunes, click here. If you don’t have iTunes, click here.

You can order Nin’s iconic collection of fiction, Cities of the Interior, by clicking here.

Marina Ferrer’s essay and poetry will be included in A Café in Space, Vol. 13, which can be pre-ordered here.

Anais Nin Podcast 5, part 2: 5 more questions for Anais Nin with answers

La Coupole: 1930s social media?

La Coupole: 1930s social media?

Part 2 of episode 5 of The Anaïs Nin Podcast picks up where Part 1 left off: with answers to the last five of the ten questions Nin fans said they would have liked to ask her, the answers to which are thoroughly researched and explained.

The subject matter of Part 2 includes the Paris café life as a precursor to social media and how Anaïs Nin would have used Twitter, Facebook, blogs and podcasts today; the end of her love affair with the famed “laboratory of the soul,” her home in Louveciennes, and her undying affinity with France; how Nin kept (or didn’t keep) her two husbands unaware of each other; Nin’s choice to not bear children—whether it was selfishness, as commonly thought, or a much deeper reason; and how Nin went about the construction her most ignored genre of work, her fiction.

louveciennes1931smaller

The “laboratory of the soul”

With the invaluable help of Sex Love Joy podcaster, Anaín Bjorkquist, these questions are addressed, discussed and answered as closely as possible to how Anaïs Nin herself would have.

Once again, special thanks go to Lulu Salavegesen (@Shimmerinbloom) for the concept of this series.

You can listen to Podcast 5, Part 2 on iTunes by clicking here, or, if you don’t have iTunes, by clicking here.

To learn about Part 1 and listen to it, click here.

Run time: 33 minutes. Enjoy.

Anaïs Nin Podcast 5: Part 1—answering your questions for Anaïs Nin

anaisnincapedemandemoiRecently, we asked Nin fans to think of a question they would have liked to ask her, and the ones we have received are all compelling, interesting, and challenging. We researched our vast Nin archive and used what we know about Anaïs to answer each question as closely as possible to what she would have said. Each question is asked, discussed using both personal experiences and validated archival information, and then summed up.

There is no way you can listen to this episode and not learn something new about Anaïs Nin.

sexlovejoyMy co-host, Anaín Bjorkquist, who has a deep understanding of Nin, adds her own unique point of view and insight to each answer.

Since each question was profound and required a multilayered approach, we have decided to split the podcast into two 30 minute parts, answering five questions in each. Part 1 will address Nin’s love affairs with Acapulco and Rupert Pole, her own brand of fearlessness and how she used it to conquer unfathomable challenges, artists who inspired her, such as Marcel Duchamp, Jean Varda, Jean Genet, Arthur Rimabaud and Antonin Artaud, her failed attempt to connect with acclaimed writer Djuna Barnes and how she dealt with it artistically, and how her soul seems to mingle with our own.

Part 2 will appear in a week…check back here for details.

Special thanks to Anaín Bjorkquist (@AnainBjorkquist) for her valuable input, and Lulu Salavegsen (@shimmerinbloom) for creating the concept of this two-part series. This has been a wonderful collaboration.

You can listen to Podcast 5, part 1 on iTunes by clicking here, or, if you don’t have iTunes, by clicking here.

Run time: 30 minutes. Enjoy.

Ask Anais Nin anything you want

NOTICE: WE ARE NO LONGER TAKING QUESTIONS. THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE PARTICIPATED–YOUR QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED ON OUR NEXT PODCAST. STAY TUNED TO OUR BLOG FOR DETAILS.

Imagine you had the chance to ask Anaïs Nin any question you’d like. What would it be? Would it be about a book? A lover? Somewhere she lived? Her double life? Incest? Her writing philosophy? Her family? Her upcoming diary?

anaisnincapedemandemoiAnd what if you had the chance to actually ask the question and get an answer from Nin experts who will use their extensive knowledge and resources to provide an in-depth and accurate response?

And what if your question and answer would appear on our next Anaïs Nin podcast?

I would say thats a unique opportunity.

The podcast will be hosted by Paul Herron and Anaín Bjorkquist (of Sex Love Joy fame). Air date will be posted here and on Twitter soon.

Anaïs Nin Podcast 4: Anaïs Nin’s final years

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.

Anais Nin and Brugh Joy at his ranch, 1976

Anais Nin and Brugh Joy at his ranch, 1976

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.

Anais Nin Myth of the Day #20: Nin didn’t want her private diaries published

Myth #20: Anais Nin did not want the unexpurgated diaries published, and Rupert Pole defied her wishes by seeing to it that they were.

Fact: There has always been debate about whether Anais Nin really wanted her unexpurgated diaries (Henry & June, Incest, Fire, Nearer the Moon, Mirages,and the upcoming Trapeze) published. Rupert Pole was often quoted as saying that it was her wish, but some argue he did it strictly for the money, that she had no such intentions. There are even those who claim that he wrote some of the most scandalous passages himself.

This issue is cleared up in the postscript to Anais’s introduction to Delta of Venus. In the last paragraph (and, by the way, this is one of the last things she wrote before she died) she says: “If the unexpurgated version of the Diary is ever published, this feminine point of view [displayed in Delta] will be established more clearly. It will show that women (and I, in the Diary) have never separated sex from feeling, from love of the whole man.”

This clearly indicates that she was at the very least open to the idea, certainly not opposed to it.

delta-of-venus-10-460x299

Anais Nin Myth of the Day #19: Who’s that with Henry Miller?

Myth #19: The woman in the photo with Henry Miller is Anais Nin.

HenryMiller&MargaretNeimanFact: Recently photos of “Henry Miller and Anais Nin” taken by Man Ray have been popping up on Twitter and various blogs. The photos have been dated as either 1942 or 1945, which piqued my interest since by that time, Nin and Miller’s relationship was over. Furthermore, there is no mention of such a photo in Nin’s diaries, including Mirages, which covers those years. Posing nude with Miller for Man Ray would, one would think, make it into the diary.

The woman does resemble Anais Nin, except she is more endowed, curvier. The face and hands, however, could be hers. I have to admit that I was in doubt for a brief moment until I did a little research and discovered her true identity: she is Margaret Neiman, wife of Gilbert Neiman, both of whom were Miller’s friends in Los Angeles, where they invited Miller to stay with them at their home. Documentation of this relationship can be found on The Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company: A Henry Miller Blog. The photos were indeed taken in 1942.

Miller was at the Neimans’ when Nin broke off her relationship with him, blasting him for his propensity for living off others, Nin and the Neimans included. “I don’t want you back,” she famously wrote, after Miller said he planned to return to New York and get a job.

For more on the Miller/Neiman relationship, visit the Miller Blog by clicking here.

To read the breakup letters between Nin and Miller, order Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, 1939-1947.

New Guardian Article Raises Questions about Anaïs Nin

Recently The Guardian posted an article, written by Sady Doyle, about Anaïs Nin which chronicles her struggles as a young writer, her meteoric rise to fame, her downfall in the aftermath of Incest and Deirdre Bair’s biography, and finally her current resurgence in social media. I happen to feel that the article is well-balanced, well-written, and is based on solid fact. This leads me to confront some misconceptions seen in the article’s comments section about Nin’s incestuous relationship with her father, Joaquín Nin. anaisninphotobkFirst, there seems to be some disagreement about who wrote the incest passages, not just from some of the commenters of the Guardian article, but among those who actually knew Nin herself. I happened to be among a group of women, all of whom knew Nin on some level—none of them intimately—who argued that Nin’s “husband” and literary executor Rupert Pole and agent/editor Gunther Stuhlmann concocted the incest passage in the name of creating money-making scandal. Some believe that Pole was the editor of Incest, when, in fact, he transcribed the text from the original handwritten diary of Anaïs Nin, and Gunther Stuhlmann was the editor. I was Stuhlmann’s friend and had first-hand accounts of how the process unfolded—Pole was difficult to work with, he said, because he wanted Nin’s words exactly as she wrote them (Harcourt editor John Ferrone said the same thing—check out his article on the making of Henry & June in A Café in Space, Vol. 4). While Ferrone was very bold in editing Nin’s text, Stuhlmann was more prone to leave it alone. The proof of this lies in the handwritten diary itself. Fortunately, Pole xeroxed the entire thing before Nin’s death, and I happen to have this document—the Incest passage it is the same wording as in the handwritten diary. So, the account is Nin’s, and it is virtually unchanged (misspellings, punctuation, etc. were the only edits). Secondly, the question about who seduced whom is still debated. This is answered by the correspondence between Nin and her father Joaquín. The letters are clear: Joaquín Nin aggressively and relentlessly pursued his daughter and even predicted what would happen inside “the four walls” of his hotel room. We know from Nin’s account in Incest that she consented to his advances, but nowhere in any of the correspondence, or the diary, does she suggest a premeditated desire for a physical relationship. To learn more about these letters see the blog post or read a selection of them in A Café in Space, Vol. 6. The Guardian article does crystallize the fact that Anaïs Nin and social media is a good fit, and, as Tristine Rainer mentions, she would have loved to have an instantaneous connection with the world. To read the Guardian article, click here.

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