Even if you’ve never read the works of Anaïs Nin, you’ve likely heard quotes of hers, like these:
We are going to the moon, that is not very far. Man has so much farther to go within himself.
Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous.
Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
The American writer and diarist was known best for her published personal diaries, which influenced many in feminist thinking. Nin herself was not political or outspoken specifically about femininism, but the topics and thoughts she shared in her diaries caused others to start a dialogue about femininst issues. Whether readers agreed with Anaïs Nin’s words or not was not important; in any reaction to what Nin put out, people were talking and women had something to relate to or disagree with in discovering more about themselves.
Part of why The Diary of Anaïs Nin volumes are so interesting and read is because Nin herself carried on an interesting life. She was born in Paris, where she lived again later in life, to a Catalan (Spanish) father and Danish mother. She spent a portion of her early years with Cuban relatives, and later became a United States citizen living in New York and Los Angeles. She wrote novels and had a way with words, and reflected on her own writing and journey in her diaries. As Nin said, she wrote “emotional algebra” that others got to read and solve for themselves.
Feminism, personal discovery, and inspiring journeys are things we still relate to and learn from. For more on Anaïs Nin’s writing and sharing of her ideas, be sure to read her books and especially her diaries. For a better idea into the life of Anaïs Nin, including through the eyes of those who knew her, check out the Anaïs Nin website. And for supplemental information and a listing of her books, see the website dedicated to Anaïs Nin.
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