Thursday, February 23, 2012

Reading Anais Nin

I have been reading Anais Nin all this week.  A very few of my favorite passages jumped out to be shared here:
“The morning I got up to begin this book I coughed. Something was coming out of my throat: it was strangling me. I broke the thread which held it and yanked it out. I went back to bed and said: I have just spat out my heart. There is an instrument called the quena made of human bones. It owes its origin to the worship of an Indian for his mistress. When she died he made a flute out of her bones. The quena has a more penetrating more haunting sound than the ordinary flute. Those who write know the process. I thought of it as I was spitting out my heart. Only I do not wait for my love to die. Anais Nin, from:  "House of Incest" (A Prose Poem)
Every word you wrote I ate, as if it were manna. Finding one's self in a book is a second birth; and you are the only one who knows that at times men behave like women and women like men, and that all these distinctions are mock distinctions." from "Collages" by Anais Nin
"You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living.  Then you read a book..., or you take a trip, or you talk about Richard, and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating...It appears like an innocuous illness.  Monotony, boredom, death.  Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it.  They work in offices.  They drive a car.  They picnic with their families.  They raise children.  And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death.  Some never awaken.

They are people who go to sleep in the snow and never awaken.  But I am not in danger because my home, my garden, my beautiful life do not lull me.  I am aware of being in a beautiful prison, from which I can only escape by writing...."  from:  "The Diary of Anais Nin", volume 1, page 7


"June (Miller) sat filled with champagne.  I have no need of it.  She talked abou the effects of hashish.  I said, 'I have known such states without hashish.  I do not need drugs.  I carry all that in myself.'  At this she was irritated.  She does not realize that, being an artist, I want to be in those states of ecstasy or vision while keeping my awareness intact.  I am the poet and I must feel and see.  I do not want to be anesthetized.  I am drunk on June's beauty, but I am also aware of it...."  from:  "The Diary of Anais Nin", volume 1, page 37

"Late at night.  I am in Louveciennes.  I am sitting by the fire in my  bedroom.  The heavy curtains are drawn.  The room feels heavy and deeply anchored in the earth. One can smell the odors of the wet trees, the wet grass outside.  They are blown in by the wind through the chimney. The walls are a yard thick, thick enough to dig bookcases into them, beside the bed.  The bed is wide and low. 

Henry (Miller) called my house a laboratory of the soul...Enter here where one discovers that destiny can be directed, that one does not need to remain in bondage to the first wax imprint made on childhood sensibilities.  One need not be branded by the first pattern.  Once the deforming mirror is smashed, there is a possibility of wholeness; there is a possibility of joy."  from "The Dairy of Anais Nin", volume 1, page 105


Anais Nin


Wine and Words said...

Oh Marion. I wish I had time to read! I am knee deep in trying to find housing for Jordan and making arrangements for him to leave for school tomorrow and start school on Monday! Seems resposibility for my children is never going to end! Love you my Marion!

Marion said...

You'll have time to read one day, Annie. I just know it. Love you, too, my friend. xo

Kelly said...

I always think of you and Anais Nin together, Marion. And I'm so glad you taught me to pronounce her name long ago. :)

Ben Ditty said...

Lovely :-) The post, as well as you two dahlings.

Mama Zen said...

I find her so fascinating!

Serena said...

Her words are just delicious, aren't they?