We are celebrating Anaïs Nin’s 114th birthday with two major events: First, the publication of the 14th volume of A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal, and the 24th episode of The Anaïs Nin Podcast.
The theme of this year’s A Café in Space is twofold: erotica and Nin’s relationship with her parents. Scholars from India and England look at Nin’s childhood and how it affected her life: Kastoori Barua’s essay uses popular theory to explain how Nin’s life choices were influenced by the unusual relationship she had with both parents, while Jean Owen explores adult-onset incest, using Nin and Kathryn Harrison as examples. Casandra Lim uses Freud’s theory of Oedipus to explains Nin’s relationships. The erotica aspect comes from the recent release of Nin’s long-lost collection Auletris: Erotica, and we present the introduction to the book as well as a lengthy excerpt. Erotica writer Lana Fox then uses Auletris as inspiration for her short story “L’Étalion.”
Also included is never-before-published correspondence between Anaïs Nin, Joaquin Nin-Culmell and Eduardo Sanchez regarding contentious character descriptions of family members in the first volume of The Diary of Anaïs Nin, some of which is explosive.
Nin scholars Simon Dubois Boucheraud and Jessica Gilbey also provide article to volume 14, while David Green treats us to his experiences in Durrell country in France. There is an excerpt from and a review of Kazim Ali’s new book Anaïs Nin: An Unprofessional Study and a tribute to John Ferrone from Tristine Rainer.
Short fiction, poetry and art are from Danica Davidson, Katie Doherty, Kennedy Gammage, Harry Kiakis, Steven Reigns, Chrissie Sepe, Colette Standish, David Wilde and Changming Yuan.
At $15, and with this caliber of work, it’s a steal.
Podcast 24 concentrates on the history and future of Anaïs Nin’s diary publication. As you may know, we are fast approaching the May 2017 release of the sixth unexpurgated diary, Trapeze, which covers the beginning of Nin’s double life with husband Hugh Guiler and lover Rupert Pole on opposite ends of the country. We talk about the misconceptions behind the original series (the controversy surrounding the “missing husband”), the development of the early diary series, and a look at the rocky unexpurgated series, one which has reached incredible heights with Henry and June, and horrible lows after Incest was published in 1992, setting up the collapse of Nin’s popularity. I talk about the editing of both Mirages and Trapeze, and the two future diaries, about which few know at this point.
Coming in at 20 minutes, I guarantee it’s worth the listen.
Recently, 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.
My 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.
Run time: 30 minutes. Enjoy.
Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, 1939-1947 has just been released by Sky Blue Press as an ebook. It is currently available on Amazon.com and will be published on other platforms, including iPad, in the coming days.
This is the first entirely new work by Anais Nin to be released since 1996, when Nearer the Moon, the unexpurgated diary covering 1937-1939, was published by Harcourt. Mirages picks up where Moon left off–with Nin fleeing Paris just before the war and landing in New York, where perhaps the most turbulent phase of her life was about to begin.
Library Journal said in its recent review:
This fifth in a series of unexpurgated diary volumes by American novelist and short story and erotica writer Nin ( House of Incest; Delta of Venus ) covers a period longer than any other volume to date. The majority of entries take place in New York after Nin flees her beloved Paris in 1939. Although married to Hugh “Hugo” Guiler, Nin (1903-77) continues an affair with writer Henry Miller and also engages in trysts with numerous other lovers–demonstrating why the details of her personal life are often considered as racy and intriguing as her fiction. Many of these lovers resemble the effeminate, artistic types that appear in Nin’s short story collections (e.g., Little Birds), who are loved passionately and then dropped abruptly. This volume not only solves the mystery of the repeated story arc but also reveals the reasons why Nin and Miller separated.
VERDICT Nin’s life was steeped in secrecy, lies, passion, longing, and introspection, perhaps the most so during this period. Of the unexpurgated diary volumes thus far, this one benefits the most from full disclosure, illustrating the greater extents of Nin’s fragility and ferocity and revealing dimensions of the writer that deeply enrich the reading of her work. Recommended for readers of Nin, biography, women writers, and romance.
Anais Nin is coming full circle, thanks to the book deal between Sky Blue Press and Swallow Press, founded by Anais Nin’s first true American publisher, Alan Swallow. Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, 1939-1947, the first new Nin diary since 1996, will be released both as a print book (Swallow/Sky Blue Press) and an e-book (Sky Blue Press) on October 15, 2013.
Culled from the original handwritten diaries kept by Nin from the time she fled the war in France in late 1939 until she met the man who would become her “West Coast husband” in 1947, Mirages tells the story Nin purposely left out of volumes 3 and 4 of The Diary of Anais Nin, which were published in 1969 and 1971, respectively. Because Nin’s husband Hugh Guiler was alive when these two volumes were released, not to mention her many lovers, Nin was forced to excise the erotic side of her life almost entirely. Not only was the sexual element gone, but also her great struggle to re-acclimate herself to 1940s New York after blossoming as a writer in Paris during the 1930s.
Finally, Mirages completes the story of Anais Nin’s agonizing journey to re-invent herself both as a writer and as a woman.
More information coming soon.
To pre-order Mirages at a 30% discount, click here.