Henry and June From The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin

Henry and June From The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin Aan het begin van de jaren dertig ontmoet Anaïs Nin die getrouwd is met de zeer welgestelde maar keurige saaie bankier Hugo Guiler de dan nog onbekende schrijver Henry Miller in Parijs Die leidt een ongeregeld en in Nins ogen uiterst romantisch leven Hij voelt zich onmiddellijk tot haar aangetrokken en zijn tot hem én tot zijn beeldschone vriendin June Er ontwikkelt zich een driehoeksrelatie die even heftig als verwarrend is en waar niemand zonder kleerscheuren uit komt Overrompelende verliefdheid turbulente erotiek dramatische afloop in Nins leven gaat niets gewoon zijn gangetje En de gepassioneerde liefde heeft een onverwachte weerslag op haar huwelijksleven met HugoIn een prachtige heldere en beeldende stijl schrijft Anaïs Nin over de hemel van de liefde en over de hel


10 thoughts on “Henry and June From The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin

  1. Teresa Jusino Teresa Jusino says:

    How does one review published diaries? According to literary merit? Though Anais Nin is a beautiful insightful writer I feel strange talking about her writing style when discussing a section of her journal What I will talk about instead is the way that books often come into your life at a time when you need them It happened to me once with 1984 when I needed to crystalize exactly why writing was so important to me then again with Everything is Illuminated when I needed to be encouraged back into writing after I'd stopped for a long time I was inspired to walk into a bookstore and purchase Henry and June a week or two ago because I've been doing a lot of self examination recently and having heard a lot about Anais Nin I thought her journals would be the best thing to accompany me on the beginning of my journey Originally I'd wanted a full volume of her journals but everything was sold out so I ended up buying Henry and Juneand since I'd never read her before I thought it would be a good introductionI am so grateful that this book came into my life when it did All I knew about Nin before reading it had to do with the sex she had People love to sensationalize and so when one hears the name Anais Nin one automatically thinks sexual awakening deviance erotica What amazed me was how much we had in common outside of that the insecurities the way in which we see men and the world the positive and negative aspects of a Catholic upbringing and most importantly the ongoing battle between loving submission and intellectual assertiveness; how difficult it is to be a strong woman while still holding on to one's emotional vulnerability I learned so much from her insightsand while I won't be having three or four lovers any time soon heh I appreciate the spirit of adventure with which she tried to live her life It's something I hope to emulate in my own wayI cried wept as I read the last paragraph of Henry and June because it magically captured exactly where I am at this moment in my lifeLast night I wept I wept because the process by which I have become woman was painful I wept because I was no longer a child with a child's blind faith I wept because my eyes were opened to reality to Henry's selfishness June's love of power my insatiable creativity which must concern itself with others and cannot be sufficient to itself I wept because I could not believe any and I love to believe I can still love passionately without believing That means I love humanly I wept because from now on I will weep less I wept because I have lost my pain and I am not yet accustomed to its absenceHow did she know?


  2. Molly Molly says:

    Dear Anaïs You think too much You need to act your age Get a job Honor your marriage vows or get a divorce You're like a teenager with a tattered doodled spiral bound notebook and a Starbucks prepaid account app Or like one of our modern day hipsters a trustafarian thinking you're so edgy in your ragged velvet dress with the holes in the elbows going against convention in dive cafés and being bicurious with the friend du jour You're not deep Or avant garde You're just self indulgent inconstant and annoying You're not sucking the marrow out of life; you're just sucking Grow up Get out in the world Take on some responsibility Then you'll have something real to write about Sincerely A Twenty first Century Woman


  3. Gabrielle Gabrielle says:

    I can't remember the first time I read Nin's short stories; I was probably technically a bit too young for that kind of stuff my mom left all her books laying around and did not really believe in hiding the R rated material but I also feel weirdly lucky I was exposed to her writing early because it clearly influenced my ideas about sex in what I believe to be a positive way Her emphasis on sensuality her honesty and frankness about the beautiful and complicated emotions that go with sex the diversity of her characters her female characters' enjoyment of their bodies; that kind of stuff is not usually what you are exposed to as a teenager which is a shame But importantly I learnt from Nin that sex is something you can write about shamelessly and beautifully that you can make literature out of dirty stories and that is a wonderful thing I'll always have a soft spot for her workBut Henry and June is not fiction; its material lifted or less directly from Nin's very detailed diaries and documents the intense year of her life when she first met Henry Miller whose work I have never read and must now absolutely get to and his wife June Nin becomes fascinated with June at first but uickly develops feelings for Henry as well the whole situation turning uickly into a blend of obsession intense physical desire intellectual stimulation and search for personal identity The two writers throw themselves into a passionate affair while understanding perfectly that neither of them will leave their respective spouses The affair eventually ended but they remained in touch for the rest of their lives having left a long lasting influence on each otherNin was psychoanalyzed when the science was still relatively new and she was an insightful amateur analyst herself; she kept a meticulous and deeply introspective record of her life spending a long time detailing her inner world and trying to understand it In this book she struggles with conflicting desires and ideas tries to make sense of it all with varying levels of successIn Anaïs Nin I have found something of a kindred spirit a pervert and an iconoclast but also a feminist yes you read that right who felt very strong and deeply vulnerable at the same time and who had a really hard time reconciling those parts of herself That wonderful uote I with a deeper instinct choose a man who compels my strength who makes enormous demands on me who does not doubt my courage or my toughness who does not believe me naive or innocent who has the courage to treat me like a woman perfectly captures how I felt in my search for a partner I read that sentence and I wanted to scream This This is what I looked for my whole life and eventually found in my husband It felt like such a huge contradiction to be happy to submit to someone and still be assertive and living on my own terms; Anaïs clearly struggled with that conundrum though I understand she never truly resolved itNo she is not perfect not always likable or even moral; the idea of all that lying and cheating actually grosses me out I wouldn't want to hang out with someone that selfish and fickle But it is a complete mistake and egregious simplification to reduce this book to simple erotica or dismiss it because its author is not a very nice person because there is a lot going on there than smut The honest attempt at untangling her feelings reactions and at understanding herself are fascinating the prose is absolutely stunning and to be honest it makes me feel dreamy to read about people who had such strong bonds intellectually and physically Most people forget that the brain is where most of the arousal happens after allIt was also interesting to find what is clearly the seed of some of her short stories in the anecdotes she wrote in this journal Anyone familiar with the Little Birds collection will find a few sentences a few events that very obviously inspired Nin's fiction later down the road5 stars for pure reading pleasure and for the entrancing journey in the mind of a very uniue writerI use the word pervert here for lack of a better one I can't find a word that means someone who shamelessly enjoys sex and refuses to be judged as a human being based on that aspect of themselves and doesn't mean deviant or into alternative sex whatever the fuck that means


  4. Kelly Wondracek Kelly Wondracek says:

    Henry and June is the type of journal that makes me want to highlight passage after passagesince journals so often have the types of personal reflections that are hard to achieve in pure fiction I did get bored with it fast though Maybe because after the first few instances of lust jealousy psychoanalysis and then lust jealousy and psychoanalysis it was pretty much the same events and observations repeating themselves in different forms But then again journals aren’t supposed to be designed to engage the reader—they’re designed to be self fulfilling So it’s kinda hard to complain about a journal from a reader’s standpoint Which brings me to wonder something about these writings Nin shared her journal with several people—actually most of the men in her life who she writes about read her journal at some point with her permission So I’m curious about how honestly she really wrote knowing it could potentially be read by her subjects It seemed honestraw but do we tailor things to the eyes of those who will be reading it? The same way we might be inclined to structure fiction according to a workshop we’re in or which publisher we’re aiming for? Nin says at one point in her journal that she no longer wants to write about her husband because she can’t do so honestly—that it’s like writing about God You exalt someone and create a distance between yourself and that person not wanting to say anything bad about them for fear of being blasphemous In this case it seemed to be Nin being attentive to her husband’s sensitivity and the tenderness she felt for him even though her physical passion was found through Henry At one point in the journal her psychiatrist said to her “You do not want weak men but until they have become weak in your hands you are not satisfied” Though he tended to make annoying generalizations I think he really nailed that one I was wondering if her passions were so intense toward Henry only because she couldn’t possess him completely It seems so common especially if you broaden it to everyday greed Because of her greed Nin’s husband also nailed it when he said this to her “Beware of being trapped in your own imaginings You instill sparks in others you charge them with your illusions and when they burst forth into illuminations you are taken in”


  5. Khush Khush says:

    This is the kind of book I love reading I am delighted to find Anais Nin She is extraordinaryHer writing is brilliant or shall I say terrific She writes short sentences packed with meaning I trust her voice completely There are no back thoughts She is writing for herself One can easily sense this in short crisp and beautifully worded sentences While reading this book I also felt that this could easily be a novelAt times her writing in certain parts of her journals reminds me of D H Lawrence but soon her style honesty the eagerness to tell it all in clear and precise manner set her fiercely apart not only from Lawrence but from others She is just being Anais Nin Just read this the whole book carries this uality of description and keeps the reader firmly in her world''I have just been standing before the open window of my bedroom and I have breathed in deeply all the sunshine the snowdrops the crocuses the primroses the crooning of the pigeons the trills of the birds the entire possessions of soft winds and cool smells of frail colors and petal textured skies the knotted grey brown of old trees the vertical shoots of young branches the wet brown earth the torn roots''I suppose I need to read this book again She explores relationships sexuality and unconscious and how all these unfold in her life and impact her There is much in her journals in terms of sexuality that has most probably been later theorized by the modern day theorists For some vague reasons I could not help thinking of 'Gender Trouble' by Judith Butler; these journals show us what it means to be human in a world of rigidly defined categories– man women straight gay transgender They all intersect These categories trouble her because she could be so much The 'reality' of human life pushes her to be just one thing The dreams the unconscious have other designs patterns other 'realities' to offer and she goes deep into them unafraidIn her book The Novel of the Future' she emphasizes the importance of dreams of the unconscious and what lies in there We must explore the unconscious if we want to create Just going after the 'real' or 'concrete' is to impede what really 'real' is and only pursuing 'this real' has the potential to make us alive conscious of what we do and who we are The writing itself shows the reality of human life as ever flowing ever mobile in sharp contrast to the school of 'realism' which she rejects to embrace and explore the 'real' thingI strongly recommend her I am really keen on reading of work


  6. Kata Kata says:

    Anais Nin has been an idol of mine for a long time There are few women of literary stature which I find relatable As a young reader I cherished Judy Bloom As an adult woman I was thrilled to read Anais Nin Intelligent witty and sexually provocative I admire her supreme linguistic talent Her writing in whtever form always maintains a powerful poetic lexicon She made love most fervently when she held the pen in her hand This excerpt from her personal journal is so very intimate flux with sexuality but you feel her grace and delicate vulnerability Something deeply personal left for us readersI also admire Nin because she was an uninhibited sexual being long before it was socially acceptable Is it even acceptable today? Sensuality is a secret power in my body someday it will show healthy and ample Wait a while Her thoughts and feelings are confident as she expresses herself an empowering embodiment of feminism even by today's standards Her confidence becomes emboldened with lovers Nin is the epitome of unbridled lust for life


  7. Ana Ana says:

    I can't get enough of her She is such a complex woman I identify with so much of her intelect with her hunger for love and with her powerfully erotic self every page I read I find something else that applies so well to my life in this moment my relationships that it scares me Reading her diaries is a very personal experience for meLATER EDIT I have very strong opinions on what a woman should be like and I strive to live up to them More than being a way in which I think the world should live it's a way in which I want to live Anais is part of one of my favorite literary power couples Henry Anais Heidegger Hannah and I identify with her passion for her relationship and with the strength of her own emotions for how she feels desperately torn between her sensitive heart and her concrete like intellect I have fallen in love with her whilst reading what she has written about sex how she discovered it and what it meant for her to be a powerfully erotic woman like an animal than a human being following her instinct and instilling death bearing passions in the men of her life I discovered her when I was 18 and I believe that was just on time as it gave me insight into who I wanted to be Her diaries show a very strong and intelligent woman but they also show she was emotionally weak dependent on men desiring power and dominance outwardly while secretly dealing with being sexually submissive That is a very fine line to walk and it takes a lot of introspection to be able to never mix the two I am not just reading her diaries I am studying them You can live a much better life if you understand the mistakes of someone who was talented enough to put them on paper


  8. Kelly Kelly says:

    I've read Delta of Venus and Little Birds which I enjoyed but until I read this I had not realized what an incredible writer Nin is I also thought it was really interesting to see Henry Miller through her eyes I have read Miller's Tropic of Cancer which i really enjoyed which is very harsh and honest but this sort of gives you a different perspective of him I truly think she is a brilliant writer and am looking forward to reading of her work


  9. Kris Kipling Kris Kipling says:

    Is Anais Nin a good writer? Ought we take her seriously? Apparently some do but the description on the back of the Penguin edition about sums up this book culled from the unexpurgated diaries of Ms Nin during the period in which writer Henry Miller and his wife June Masefield figure large on her horizon it is a compelling account of a woman's sexual and emotional awakening If you don't groan at that charmless phrase variations of which are so thoughtlessly used to describe any risue tome penned by a woman you may enjoy Henry and June here But what this really is this diary so obviously written with publication in mind so much of it is flowery daring and conflicted is a record of one person's unchecked narcissism the diary of a spoiled little rich girl and her self created problems No one comes off well in this the husband is the world's most oblivious cuckold the psychoanalyst a bit of a charlatan surprise who secretly lusts for some Nin the writer a would be volcano who's disappointingly a kitten at heart his wife surely a neurotic Fury who'll end up destroying everyone in the end alas but the narrator comes off worst of all She loves her husband Hugo that bland boob or wait she loves Miller who she's sure will be a great literary genius or no maybe she hates Miller and loves her analyst who can seemingly read her like a book play her like a violin or no it's June Miller's wife absent for most of the time in uestion but always present as the object of Nin's lesbian dreams who dominates all all Sigh Whom she loves depends on the week really but most assuredly she loves Anaïs and one's appreciation of the book depends on how much Anaïs one can stomach I made it to the end after a stretch but didn't feel very good about it


  10. Lis Lis says:

    While reading this I was thinking that Anais is a narcissistic bitch which I don't really necessarily hold against her I'm sure it makes reading her journals interesting than it would be otherwise On one hand she comes off as so egotistical spending the majority of her pages on how wonderful other people think she is Oh you are so beautiful you are so wonderful I love you than I could ever love another woman you are everything to me So on and so forth On the other hand she is incredibly insecure She even admits she is constantly striking poses Considering there are no other hands you see both sides of her are obsessed over the same thing herself I sense this even when she is raving about Henry andor June She's cheating on her poor husband who we are told worships her with Henry who we are also told worships her and there are a few other men who also worship her of course and she is so worried about her own feelings over all this that she nonchalantly professes how innocent she feels when writing about her infidelities even while just a few feet away from her unsuspecting or rather self blinding husband She must be overestimating the promiscuity of others if she sill thinks she's got much sexual awakening to do But like I said all this does help make her journals interestingShe is a good writer though a bit dramatic and tends to over analyze things She seems open sincere and honest but sometimes seems hindered because she does not know what she truly feels Reading this I can't help but think I know women like her and this is a great introspective view of what drives them


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