Quotes by Anaïs Nin
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Wikipedia Summary for Anaïs Nin
Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell (February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977), known professionally as Anaïs Nin (French: [ana.is nin]), was a French-Cuban-American diarist, essayist, novelist and writer of short stories and erotica. Born to Cuban parents in France, Nin was the daughter of composer Joaquín Nin and Rosa Culmell, a classically trained singer. Nin spent her early years in Spain and Cuba, about sixteen years in Paris (1924–1940), and the remaining half of her life in the United States, where she became an established author.
Nin wrote journals prolifically from age eleven until her death. Her journals, many of which were published during her lifetime, detail her private thoughts and personal relationships. Her journals also describe her marriages to Hugh Parker Guiler and Rupert Pole, in addition to her numerous affairs, including those with psychoanalyst Otto Rank and writer Henry Miller, both of whom profoundly influenced Nin and her writing.
In addition to her journals, Nin wrote several novels, critical studies, essays, short stories, and volumes of erotica. Much of her work, including the collections of erotica Delta of Venus and Little Birds, was published posthumously amid renewed critical interest in her life and work. Nin spent her later life in Los Angeles, California, where she died of cervical cancer in 1977.
There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
Travel is seeking the lost paradise. It is the supreme illusion of love.
Creation which cannot express itself becomes madness.
There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.
The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.
The role of the writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say. Most of the writing today which is called fiction contains such a poverty of language, such triteness, that it is a shrunken, diminished world we enter, poorer and more formless than the poorest cripple deprived of ears and eyes and tongue. The writer's responsibility is to increase, develop our senses, expand our vision, heighten our awareness and enrich our articulateness.
Everything with me is either worship and passion or pity and understanding. I hate rarely, though when I hate. I hate murderously.
To change skins, evolve into new cycles, I feel one has to learn to discard.
To change skins, evolve into new cycles, I feel one has to learn to discard. If one changes internally one should not continue to live with the same objects. They reflect one's mind and psyche of yesterday. I throw away what has no dynamic, living use.
She acquired the certainty of the expansion of time by depth of emotion, range and infinite multiplicity of experience.
When I cannot bear outer pressures anymore, I begin to put order in my belongings...As if unable to organize and control my life, I seek to exert this on the world of objects.
All the art of analysis consists in saying a truth only when the other person is ready for it, has been prepared for it by an organic process of gradation and evolution.
We celebrate peace. Yet we pay no attention to the ways of curing aggression in human beings. And when one sees in psychoanalysis hostility disappearing as people conquer their fears, one wonders if the cure is not there.
If you are terribly truthful, the ground will always move from under you, and you will have to shift with the constantly shifting truth.
All of my creation is an effort to weave a web of connection with the world: I am always weaving it because it was once broken.
If one's conscious life is too rigid, too regimented, then the surface may crack at times, and we are unprepared for the strange emotions or sensations we experience.
The preoccupation of the novelist: how to capture the living moments, was answered by the diary. You write while you are alive. You do not preserve them in alcohol until the moment you are ready to write about them.
The inner chambers of the soul are like the photographer's darkroom. Like a laboratory. One cannot stay there all the time or it becomes the solitary cell of the neurotic.
The best way to remember a beautiful city or a beautiful painting is to eat something while you are looking at it. The flavor really helps the image to penetrate the body. It fixes it as lacquer does a drawing.
At first she beckoned and lured one into her world; then, she blurred the passageways, confused all the images, as if to elude detection.
But I lie. I embellish. My words are not deep enough. They disguise, they conceal. I will not rest until I have told of my descent into a sensuality which was as dark, as magnificent, as wild, as my moments of mystic creation have been dazzling, ecstatic, exalted.
America is the greatest humiliator in existence. It is always cultivating the power you get from humiliating others.
To the woman with the least intelligence, there must come, at some time or other, the realization that housework is animal work and that there are other occupations in the world a thousand times more refined, more enriching, for which she is also suited and to which she has a right.
In the world of the dreamer there was solitude: all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living. They took place in solitude.
In the world of the dreamer there was solitude: all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living. They took place in solitude. But with action came anxiety, and the sense of insuperable effort made to match the dream, and with it came weariness, discouragement, and the flight into solitude again. And then in solitude, in the opium den of remembrance, the possibility of pleasure again.
In New York the acoustics are good for laughter, for life is all external, all action, no thought, no meditation, no dreaming, no reflection, only the exuberance of action.
In the..curious way that my idealism has been mixed with my fatalism, so that I can possess the soul of a dreamer and that of a cynic at the same time......I possess a power of magic...to destroy the balance of a well-designed destiny with my diabolical mind.
The shell is America's most active contribution to the formation of character. A tough hide. Grow it early.
That is my essential reason for writing, not for fame, not to be celebrated after death, but to heighten and create life all around me. I also write because when I am writing I reach the high moment of fusion sought by the mystics, the poets, the lovers, a sense of communion with the universe.
Our psychological reality, which lies below the surface, frightens us because it endlessly surprises us and drives us in a direction which society's rules and organizations define as wrong or dangerous.
I am a failure as a writer. The publishers won't publish me, the bookshops won't carry my books, the critics won't write about me. I am excluded from all anthologies, and completely ignored.
I have this weird obsession about buying books and looking at them with a smile, even if I won't read them soon. At least they are mine now.
I cannot concentrate all my friendship on any single one of my friends because no one is complete enough in himself.
Introspection is a devouring monster.
Introspection is a devouring monster. You have to feed it with much material, much experience, many people, many places, many loves, many creations, and then it ceases feeding on you.
What a mystery this is, desire. The love sickness, the sensitivity, the obsession, the flutter of the heart, the ebb and flow of the blood. There is no drug and no alcohol to equal it.
Descendants of pigeons once fed by Keats, Byron, George Sand, Chopin and many other famous lovers are still being fed, and the sudden sound when they all rise together, frightened away, is like the sound of giant sails flapping.
She walked in the shadow of Rango with a great feeling of being taken out of herself, of having no knowledge of what was happening to her, merely a pervading sense of flow.
This great handsomeness I took into myself later when he desired me, but I took it as one breathes air, or swallows a snowflake, or yields to the sun.
He had a mania for washing and disinfecting himself... For him the only danger came from the microbes that attacked the body. He had not studied the microbe of conscience which eats into the soul.
But the artist persists because he has the will to create, and this is the magic power which can transform and transfigure and transpose and which will ultimately be transmitted to others.
The bed must be a beautiful place, not only because you make love there but because you dream there as well.
The final lesson a writer learns is that everything can nourish the writer. The dictionary, a new word, a voyage, an encounter, a talk on the street, a book, a phrase learned.
I have a prejudice against people with money. I have known so many, and none have escaped the corruption of power. In this I am a purist. I love people motivated by love and not by power. If you have money and power, and are motivated by love, you give it all away.
Convalescence. Such an utter weakness that you lie like an animal hibernating, playing possum. You float. You are adrift. Every current is stronger than you.
When I hear of people who weary of each other, I believe it is because they have sought virtues in themselves alone, attractions of physical beauty. Have they based their love on each other's thoughts? Who can weary of thoughts which change every day?
Life, religion and art all converge in Bali. They have no word in their language for 'artist' or 'art.' Everyone is an artist.
The complaints of the child in us will never cease lamenting until it is consoled, answered, understood. Only then will it lie still in us, like our fears. It will die in peace and leave us what the child leaves to the man -- the sense of wonder.
Because history is only an aggregate of personal hostilities, personal prejudices, personal blindness and irrationality, there are times when we have to live against it.
The impetus to grow and live intensely is so powerful in me I cannot resist it. I will work, I will love my husband, but I will fulfill myself.
I have no fear of God, and yet fear keeps me awake at night,fear of the devil. And if I believe in the devil, I must believe in God. And if evil is abhorrent to me, I must be a saint. Henry, save me from beatification, from the horrors of static perfection. Precipitate me into the inferno.
I have seen romanticism outlast the realistic. I have seen men forget the beautiful women they have possessed, forget the prostitutes, and remember the first woman they idolized, the woman they could never have. The woman who aroused them romantically holds them.
While analyzing so many people I realized the constant need of a mother, or a father, or a god (the same thing) is really immaturity. It is a childish need, a human need, but so universal that I can see how it gave birth to all religions.
She makes use of the soft of the bread for a napkin. She falls asleep at times with shoes on, on unmade beds. When a little money comes in, June buys delicacies, strawberries in the winter, caviar and bath salts.
I did not feel drawn to huxley. He was beautiful physically but again without vibrations or sensory antennae... and I had a painful impression of a psychic blindness. With all his science and knowledge, in the mystic world he blundered.
The one who travels like a lover searching for a new passion is suddenly blessed with new eyes, new ears, new senses.
I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go.
I want to be a writer who reminds others that these moments exist; I want to prove that there is infinite space, infinite meaning, infinite dimension.
A trite word is an overused word which has lost its identity like an old coat in a second-hand shop. The familiar grows dull and we no longer see, hear, or taste it.
We efface an hour by passionate love, without twists, without aftertaste. When it is finished, it is not finished, we lie still in each other's arms lulled by our love, by tenderness -- sensuality in which the whole being can participate.
The violence and obscenity are left unadulterated, as manifestation of the mystery and pain which ever accompanies the act of creation.
The child who is uprooted begins to recognize that what he builds within himself is what will endure, what will withstand shattering experiences.
I gathered poets around me and we all wrote beautiful erotica. As we were condemned to focus only on sensuality, we had violent explosions of poetry. Writing erotica became a road to sainthood rather than to debauchery.
Writing more and more to the sound of music, writing more and more like music. Sitting in my studio tonight, playing record after record, writing, music a stimulant of the highest order, far more potent than wine.
When I stand at the top of the Champs-Elysées, with its chestnut trees in flower, its undulations of shining cars, its white spaciousness, I feel as if I were biting into a utopian fruit, something velvety and lustrous and rich and vivid.
Only when the poet and the scientist work in unison will we have living experiences and knowledge of the marvels of the universe as they are being discovered.
There are books which we read early in life, which sink into our consciousness and seem to disappear without leaving a trace. And then one day we find, in some summing-up of our life and put attitudes towards experience, that their influence has been enormous.
Every individual is representative of the whole ... and should be intimately understood, and this would give a far greater understanding of mass movements and sociology.
Paris-New York, the two high tension magnetic poles between life, life of the senses, of the spirit in Paris, and life in action in New York.
Coming near him like a ballet dancer she took a leap towards him, and he, frightened by her vehemence, and fearing that she would crash against him, instinctively became absolutely rigid, and she felt herself embracing a statue.
I really believe that if I were not a writer, not a creator, not an experimenter, I might have been a very faithful wife. I think highly of faithfulness. But my temperament belongs to the writer, not to the woman.
His life rushes onward in such torrential rhythm that...only angels and devils can catch the tempo of it.
Physical experiences, lacking the joys of love, depend on twists and perversions of pleasure. Abnormal pleasures kill the taste for normal ones.
I had been struck by the analogy between neurosis and romanticism. Romanticism was truly a parallel to neurosis. It demanded of reality an illusory world, love, an absolute which it could never obtain, and thus destroyed itself by the dream.
How well I know with what burning intensity you live. You have experienced many lives already, including several you have shared with me- full rich lives from birth to death, and you just have to have these rest periods in between.
All those who try to unveil the mysteries always have tragic lives. At the end they are always punished.
I know why familles were created, with all their imperfections. They humanize you. They are made to make you forget yourself occasionally, so that the beautiful balance of life is not destroyed.
Writers do not live one life, they live two. There is the living and then there is the writing. There is the second tasting, the delayed reaction.
I often see how you sob over what you destroy, how you want to stop and just worship; and you do stop, and then a moment later you are at it again with a knife, like a surgeon.
Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terror, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.
I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.
You carry away with you a reflection of me, a part of me. I dreamed you; I wished for your existence. You will always be a part of my life. If I love you, it must be because we shared, at some moment, the same imaginings, the same madness, the same stage.
I sat there for three hours and did not feel the time or the boredom of our talk and its foolish disconnection. As long as I could hear his voice, I was quite lost, quite blind, quite outside my own self.
I will always be the virgin-prostitute, the perverse angel, the two-faced sinister and saintly woman.
Someone told me the delightful story of the crusader who put a chastity belt on his wife and gave the key to his best friend for safekeeping, in case of his death. He had ridden only a few miles away when his friend, riding hard, caught up with him, saying 'You gave me the wrong key!
I am lonely, yet not everybody will do. I don't know why, some people fill the gaps and others emphasize my loneliness. In reality those who satisfy me are those who simply allow me to live with my ''idea of them.
I am only responsible for my own heart, you offered yours up for the smashing my darling. Only a fool would give out such a vital organ.
Human beings can reach such desperate solitude that they may cross a boundary beyond which words cannot serve, and at such moments there is nothing left for them but to bark.
Each friend represents a world in us.
Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
There are two ways to reach me: by way of kisses or by way of the imagination. But there is a hierarchy: the kisses alone don't work.
I only believe in fire. Life. Fire. Being myself on fire I set others on fire. Never death. Fire and life.
One handles truths like dynamite.
One handles truths like dynamite. Literature is one vast hypocrisy, a giant deception, treachery. All writers have concealed more than they revealed.
The fiery moments of passionate experience are the moments of wholeness and totality of the personality.
We are cruel when someone refuses to play the role in which we have cast him. We judge a person only according to his relationship towards us.
I either eat too much or starve myself. Sleep for 14 hours or have insomniac nights. Fall in love very hard or hate passionately. I don't know what grey is. I never did.
There are only two kinds of freedom in the world; the freedom of the rich and powerful, and the freedom of the artist and the monk who renounces possessions.
With her eyes alone she could give this response, this absolutely erotic response, as if febrile waves were trembling there, pools of madness... something devouring that could lick a man all over like a flame, annihilate him, with a pleasure never known before.
The risk it takes to remain tight inside the bud
is more painful than the risk it takes to blossom.
We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
I don't hear your words: your voice reverberates against my body like another kind of caress, another kind of penetration. I have no power over your voice. It comes straight from you into me. I could stuff my ears and it would find its way into my blood and make it rise.
I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason.
I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.
The value of the personal relationship to all things is that it creates intimacy and intimacy creates understanding and understanding creates love.
You don't find love, it finds you. It's got a little bit to do with destiny, fate, and what's written in the stars.
The real wonders of life lie in the depths. Exploring the depths for truths is the real wonder which the child and the artist know: magic and power lie in truth.
We are all engaged in the task of peeling off the false selves, the programmed selves, the selves created by our families, our culture, our religions. It is an enormous task because the history of women has been as incompletely told as the history of blacks.
Willingness to explore everything is a sign of strength. The weak ones have prejudices. Prejudices are a protection.
The only transformer and alchemist that turns everything into gold is love. The only magic against death, aging, ordinary life, is love.
I am a winged creature who is too rarely allowed to use its wings. Ecstasies do not occur often enough.
I love the abstract, delicate, profound, vague, voluptuously wordless sensation of living ecstatically.
My life is not possible to tell. I change every day, change my patterns, my concepts, my interpretations. I am a series of moods and sensations. I play a thousand roles. I weep when I find others play them for me. My real self is unknown. My work is merely an essence of this vast and deep adventure.
I take pleasure in my transformations. I look quiet and consistent, but few know how many women there are in me.
Tranquillity is contagious, peace is contagious. One only thinks of the contagiousness of illness, but there is the contagion of serenity and joy.
I believe the lasting revolution comes from deep changes in ourselves which influence our collective life.
It takes courage to push yourself to places you have never been before... to test your limits... to break through barriers. And the day came when the risk it took to stay tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Warmth, perfume, rugs, soft lights, books. They do not appease me. I am aware of time passing, of all the world contains that I have not seen, of all the interesting people I have not met.
And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat.
Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back: a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.
What can I do with my happiness? How can I keep it, conceal it, bury it where I may never lose it? I want to kneel as it falls over me like rain, gather it up with lace and silk, and press it over myself again.
The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle.
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