Update on Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin

UPDATE: Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, 1939-1947 is now available as an ebook from Amazon, and it can be ordered from your device or by clicking here.

Anais Nin, 1940s Copyright: The Anais Nin Trust

Anais Nin, 1940s
Copyright: The Anais Nin Trust

Because of printer delays, the release date of the hardcover version has been pushed to November 1, 2013. The good news is that until then  you can still pre-order at the discounted price. To reserve a copy, click here.

Lastly,  The Daily Beast has produced the best analysis to date of Mirages. To read the article, click here. The author of the post, Lizzie Crocker (@nymtwit), shows she truly understands the message and value of Anais Nin.

Happy reading!

Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin Released as Ebook

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.

Anais Nin, Provincetown, 1941. Photo: Jose Alemany

Anais Nin, Provincetown, 1941. Photo: Jose Alemany

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.

Mirages is available both in print (Swallow Press/Sky Blue Press) and ebook (Sky Blue Press) formats.

Sky Blue Press Partners with Swallow Press on New Anais Nin Diary

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.

MIRAGES

Click to enlarge

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.

Anaïs Nin’s Cities of the Interior: a history

For the first time, a digital edition of Anaïs Nin’s Cities of the Interior is being made available. To get an idea of the history of this collection of five novels written over a dozen year period, read Nin’s preface, written for the Swallow print edition of the book in 1974:

 

CitiesCoverFINAL

Cover of ebook edition. Engraving by Ian Hugo.

 

When Ladders to Fire was accepted by E. P. Dutton, I explained that it was part of a larger design, and that other novels would follow and round out the characters. The editors were aghast. They said the American public would never read a novel which threatened to continue, a “roman fleuve” as it is called in France. In 1947 the book was published as an independent novel, and nothing was said about development and continuity. For that reason, I did not develop a method of linking the various narratives.

 

I began the next novel, Children of the Albatross, as if it were a new story. Though the same characters appeared, the theme was altogether different. Dutton’s nervousness was dissipated. Children of the Albatross was published a year after Ladders to Fire, but the link had to be made by the reader (or the critics), and naturally it was not.

 

Then Dutton planned to wait four years before publishing the third novel, The Four-Chambered Heart, and I feared the continuity would be lost in the waiting, so I gave it to Duell, Sloan and Pearce. But it was still to take three years after Children of the Albatross appeared before The Four-Chambered Heart was published. Much was lost by never stressing the continuity and interrelatedness of the novels. Unlike Durrell’s Quartet, which was openly described as a unity, my novels (in a much earlier period) appeared without explanation. Duell, Sloan and Pearce turned down the fourth book, A Spy in the House of Love. It was finally done by British Book Centre four years after The Four-Chambered Heart saw print. The continuity was totally erased by then.

 

Finally, I published Solar Barque myself, making it a small book with interesting drawings by Peter Loomer, age 11. It focused on an episode of Lillian’s life. At the time I thought it contained all I wished to say, but like a piece of music which continues to haunt one, the theme continued to develop in my head; and I took it up again and carried it to completion. Now there was a problem for my new and loyal publisher, Alan Swallow. Should we reprint Solar Barque with the new material? No one would notice then that it had been added to, and the reviewers would not review the same title twice. Swallow decided to make a new book with a new title: Seduction of the Minotaur. Some reviewers complained bitterly because they had already read the first part. Generosity was not exactly rampant, and again I could not come forward to explain how I worked. It might have compounded the difficulties. When all the novels went out of print, and people wrote me asking for them, I published them together under the title Cities of the Interior (1959), and for the first time the continuity was established.

 

Now that the links between the novels are made clear, I hope the journey through the Cities of the Interior will be deeper and less difficult.

 

Anaïs Nin, Los Angeles, 1974

 

You may order Cities of the Interior by clicking here.

 

You may also order the individual novels from the collection below:

Ladders to Fire
Children of the Albatross
The Four-Chambered Heart
A Spy in the House of Love
Seduction of the Minotaur

ANAIS: An International Journal Lives On

The year after Anais Nin’s longtime agent and diary editor, Gunther Stuhlmann, died, I paid a visit to his wife, Barbara, in their hand-built house in the Berkshires. It was a sad visit; Gunther used to fill every room with his bigness—physically, intellectually, spiritually, and sonically—and now in his place was a deafening emptiness, a vacuum, and we were constantly aware of it.

Cover-1983-Volume1When Gunther died, so did his award-winning and long-lived (19 annual issues, 1983-2001) ANAIS: An International Journal. In fact, Nin Trustee Rupert Pole issued a public statement that all distribution would cease immediately.

But when Barbara and I went down into her basement, there were boxes upon boxes of all 19 issues piled high—we knew we had to find a way to continue to put these treasures into readers’ hands, statement or no statement.

So, we packed up a load, and I took them home and have been distributing them ever since, Barbara sending me more copies as needed.

But since Barbara died early last year, I have come to realize whatever I have left in stock is the end of the line.

Yesterday, someone ordered Volume 1, and in the container there was only one left. I am mailing it out today, not without some emotion.

However, Barbara and I had agreed that digitizing ANAIS was another way we could continue to put it into readers’ hands. And so, on the same day that I am mailing out the last Volume 1, I am proud to announce the e-publication of the same issue.

In ANAIS, Gunther Stuhlmann’s bigness can still be felt, and there is still much we can learn from him and those who fill this premier issue’s pages.

To see a preview and/or to order ANAIS: An International Journal, Vol. 1, click here.

Barbara Kraft’s reading from Anais Nin: The Last Days

On March 7, the program Lust Letters: Answering Desire With Words was held at Coagula Curatorial in Los Angeles, which included artwork and readings. Among the performers was Barbara Kraft, who read from her memoir Anais Nin: The Last Days, a book that chronicals Kraft’s friendship with Nin during her final two years of life. A synopsis of the reading is as follows:

Barbara Kraft and artwork. Photo: Paul Hughen

Barbara Kraft and artwork at Coagula Curatorial. Photo: Paul Hughen

Barbara Kraft closed the evening with an account of author Anais Nin’s final days, implicitly lassoing together the writings of Aarested with the creative process of Nin modeled by Youd.

Kraft, who formerly worked as a journalist and now runs her own boutique public relations firm, recalled meeting Nin on February 8, 1974 in the author’s Silverlake glass house. Kraft said she was mesmerized by her.

“[Nin] was tall, wearing a floor-length Indian gown…She was poetry in body,” said Kraft, who read an excerpt from her e-book “Anais Nin: The Last Days – A Memoir.”

Kraft described Nin as her teacher during the acclaimed writer’s final years.

“The tutorial relationship turned into an intimacy,” said Kraft, who said that as Nin died of cancer, her body weakened and her pain intensified.

“At one point, I literally got in bed with her, at her request, to hold her,” said Kraft.

Kraft’s diary from her meetings with Nin were compiled and published in “The Restless Spirit: Journal of a Gemini.” Publication ended her marriage, and Kraft’s “whole life came crashing down,” she said.

“If you want to change your life, you pay a price,” Kraft added.

-Matt Hamilton

To read the entire review of the event by Matt Hamilton, click here.

Anais Nin: The Last Days is available as an e-book and can be ordered here.

To read an excerpt from Anais Nin: The Last Days on Huffington Post, click here.

Anais Nin’s Under a Glass Bell, Manga Style

Anaïs Nin was never afraid of new ways to disseminate her work, working in several different media, much of it ahead of its time. Her words were on the page, read at spoken word events, recorded on vinyl, made into film, and were accompanied by electronic music.

In Volume 10 of A Café in Space, yet another platform for Nin’s work has appeared: comic book (or graphic novel, or manga). Joel Enos, a frequent contributor to A Café in Space and who works in the graphics media, decided to put Nin’s famous story “Under a Glass Bell” into comic book form, using the artwork of the talented Fiona Meng to visualize Nin’s ethereal Jeanne and her two brothers, who, according to critic Oliver Evans, are living out a life of psychological incest in their house. The siblings’ isolation from the world is represented by the glass bell, which, as Nin says, “covered the entire house.”

The prospects of such a representation of Nin’s fiction are tantalizing indeed, and I hope we will see more in the future. Below are some frames from A Café in Space, which can be ordered both in print and digital format.

Below, Jeanne has rushed from disturbing images she sees in the “room of mirrors” to her sleeping brother:

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Click to enlarge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adapted by Joel Enos; illustrated by Fiona Meng; lettered by Fawn Lau Click to enlarge

Adapted by Joel Enos; illustrated by Fiona Meng; lettered by Fawn Lau
Click to enlarge

A Café in Space can be ordered in print form or as a digital book.

Under a Glass Bell (the ebook) can be ordered by clicking here.

 

 

Did Gore Vidal lie about his relationship with Anaïs Nin?

Did Gore Vidal lie about his relationship with Anaïs Nin?

According to Kim Krizan’s article in A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal, Volume 10, the answer is yes. Is this speculation, theory, mere speculation, or fact substantiated with proof?

Anyone who has read The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Volume 4 (1944-47) knows that Nin had a close friendship with the young budding novelist, but since her sex life and even love affairs of the heart were all but completely edited out, the reader is left to guess about the true nature of the relationship with Vidal.

Anais Nin and Gore Vidal, ca. 1946

We do know that Vidal publicly lashed out at Nin with a scathing review of volume 4 of the diary, which made the claim that she invented most of the passages concerning him; he also satirized Nin brutally in his novels, perhaps most notably Myra Breckinridge. His campaign of character assassination continued in his Palimpsest: A Memoir, in which he said that Nin’s biographer (Deirdre Bair) falsely claimed that Vidal proposed marriage to Nin, who was 23 years older than he: “Needless to say, I never wanted to marry anyone, certainly not someone who was to me, in my ageist youth, a very old woman.”

Bair got her much of her information from the unpublished 1940s diary of Anaïs Nin, which provides the details of Nin’s erotic life that was cut from the published diary. In it, Nin clearly states that on more than one occasion, Vidal did propose a marriage in which each would be free to pursue sexual encounters on the outside. While Nin had hoped Vidal’s homosexuality could be “cured” with analysis and maturity (a common notion in the 1940s), Vidal told her, as quoted in the diary, “You see, if I could have loved a woman, it would be you. Now I know my homosexuality is incurable.”

But all this is Nin’s side of the story. Vidal’s side is already clear: Nin was a fabricator, an inventor, a liar.

So, how does Kim Krizan prove that it was Vidal who was the actual fabricator? By going to the UCLA special collections department which houses the Nin papers. In this vast mountain of documents, she unearthed a blockbuster letter from Vidal to Nin written in 1947. In it, he states that he would “never have a satisfying homosexual relationship,” and that while he was “attracted to youth, to beauty,” he was, separately, attracted “unphysically” to Nin and enjoyed the “spiritual emotional rapport” they had. “I need that more than the other.” He goes on to propose selling his house in Guatemala, and then “we can get a small place near Antibes or wherever there are interesting people and cheap living.” He envisions a “tranquil if not complete” life with Nin, one in which she would be “free of America, Hugo (her husband), all the mess.”

But there was one big obstacle to this proposal, and that was Rupert Pole.

Read the entire article in A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal, Vol. 10, either in print or digitally.

 

Amazon Makes Digital Anais Nin Titles Available Worldwide

There is big news for those worldwide who are eager to read the works of Anaïs Nin digitally. Amazon has recently opened markets in England, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, India, Japan, Brazil, and Canada, making it possible for anyone either with a Kindle or a Kindle app on their computer, phone, or tablet to download Nin titles instantly. Nin’s fiction and A Café in Space are available, as well as the diaries and erotica. To visit the Amazon sites in your country, click on the appropriate link below:

United States

England

Germany

France

Italy

Spain

Brazil

Japan

Canada

India

 

Revisiting 1930s Paris With GPS Technology

It wasn’t long after discovering Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller some 20 years ago that I developed a hunger to follow in their footsteps in Paris. I recall writing down some of the addresses of Nin’s and Miller’s haunts and homes, names of famous Montparnassian cafés, and in particular the fabled house in Louveciennes. Back then, I had only Michelin maps and travel guides (the names of which I patched together as “Fodommerbaum”) to help me piece together some sort of plan. Nothing, though, prepared me for the actual act of walking the streets to seek out the remnants and echoes of what once existed.

La Belle Aurore in the late 1930s, quai des Tuileries

The very first site I wanted to see was the quai where Nin moored her houseboat, La Belle Aurore. I only had old photographs to help me figure out exactly where it was. I stood holding the photo on Pont Royal, straining to match the 60 year old image with the current scene, and I had to guess. I stood at my declared spot and tried to feel the magic of knowing that once upon a time, an old, leaky barge sat in these waters, that Nin and her lover Gonzalo walked down the same staircase I did to board it. Was I right? Was this the spot?

I was only able to discover this past week that I was indeed pretty close, and I was able to do so sitting in front of my computer screen, thanks to today’s GPS technology. While editing and formatting Britt Arenander’s Anaïs Nin’s Lost World: Paris in Words and Pictures, 1924-1939, I began to toy with the idea of making what was mainly a photo-book with a nice, concise synopsis of Nin’s and Miller’s Paris years into something more: an interactive travel guide using GPS technology, something than can not only be read, but used. Once I began seeking out the more than 40 specific locations listed in the book on Google Maps, I began to see that not only can one visit these locations virtually, but one can also navigate between them and create virtual walking tours. Had I had access to something like this twenty years ago, my first Paris visit would have been very different. For example, one of Henry Miller’s apartments was on Avenue Anatole France in Clichy, and it was the setting for the famous battle between Miller and his wife June over the fact that Miller and Nin were lovers, a final cataclysmic explosion that resulted in divorce. How could any self-described aficionado not visit this place and reconstruct that scene? The sad fact is that I spent half a precious day trying to find the place only to come up empty. How was I to know that there are two Avenues Anatole France, one in Paris and one in Clichy, to the north? It is only now that I can walk that street and look up at the art-deco building where emotions ran amok that day in 1932, thanks to Google’s “street view” option. In fact, I decided one day to do what Miller himself did on a regular basis: walk from his favorite restaurant at Place Clicy, the Wepler, to his apartment, simply by using the navigation tools. The same was true in Montparnasse and all the other locations.

Steps leading down to quai Tuileries, where Nin’s houseboat was moored. The iron rings use to moor the boats are still on the wall. This image is taken from Google Maps’ Street View. Click to enlarge.

So, what I did was to mark each location and then to present some background of its significance, using facts from Arenander’s book and vintage photographs. (There are other options as well, such as including links that allows the viewer to delve further into its history, including sound and video clips, and this is something I aim on enhancing the map with often. To see an example, go to our intactive sample map and click on La Gare chemin de fer de petite ceinture.) I thought that if one were planning a trip to Paris and wanted to “practice” identifying historic locations beforehand, one could do so easily. Also, since many travelers bring smart devices along on their trips, one could use an iPad, say, or an iPhone to map out their walks as they were actually doing them. What a remarkable way to enhance a trip, especially when time is at a premium. And if one is unable to make such a trip, it is still possible to revisit the traces of the past at home. After all, I was finally able to use the street view navigation to scope out Nin’s houseboat location and finally pinpoint the spot by comparing it with the old photos. Not only that, but I discovered the old iron rings that once moored the houseboats are still affixed to the walls! (Go to the sample interactive map by clicking here and you can visit quai de Tuileries yourself.)

I have created a short walking tour which is based on an event that took place in March of 1932, chronicled in Anaïs Nin’s Lost World. Henry Miller had met Anaïs at Chez les Vikings and had a passionate conversation with her. After she left, he wrote his first love letter to her, saying, “I tell you what you already know—I love you.” After writing that letter, he walked home to Hôtel Central, where he and Nin had their first sexual encounter a few days later. Now, we can virtually walk that same path, just for the hell of it.

To take the walking tour, click here.

To order Anaïs Nin’s Lost World, click here.

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