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Incest: From a Journal of Love; The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, 1932-1934 [Paperback]

Anais Nin
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 12 2001 Harvest Book
The continuation of the story begun in Henry and June, exposing the shattering psychological drama that drove Nin to seek absolution from her psychoanalysts for the ultimate transgression. “It is [Nin’s] posthumously published uncensored diaries that will make her immortal” (Booklist). Introduction by Rupert Pole; Index; photographs.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Picking up where Henry and June (1986) left off, this portion of Nin's diary, which was cut from the expurgated editions published in her lifetime, records her steamy love affair with Henry Miller in Paris, but here her intense adoration gives way to disillusionment. She describes Miller as crude, egotistic, imitative, childishly irresponsible, "a madman." Her real focus, however, is her father, Joaquin Nin, a Spanish pianist and aristocratic Don Juan who seduced her after a 20-year absence. Her graphic account of their lovemaking and of her incestuous romantic feelings is fairly shocking. Nin sought absolution from her psychiatrist and lover, Otto Rank, who advised her to bed her father, then dump him as punishment for abandoning her when she was 10. Nin's ornate, hothouse prose is much rawer than the chiseled style of the expurgated diaries. She seethes with jealousy at Miller's wife June, swoons over poet and actor Antonin Artaud, neglects her protective husband, Hugh Guiler, and describes her traumatic delivery of a stillborn child. Her extraordinary, tangled self-analysis is a disarming record of her emotional and creative growth. Photos.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This second volume of the unexpurgated version of Nin's diary spans the period from October 1932 to November 1934. It draws upon previously unpublished material from the period covered by the first volume of the diary as published in 1966. Incest follows Henry & June ( LJ 10/1/86), focusing not only on Nin's continued relationship with author Henry Miller but also on her physical and emotional attachments to four other men. Nin offers intimate details of disturbing events such as her intense incestuous affair with her father and her abortion during her sixth month of pregnancy. Her diary offers direct insight into a narcissistic, passionate, analytical, and complex mind, but the brief introduction does disappointingly little to explain the editorial process that created this version of Nin's diary, which differs dramatically in style and content from its expurgated counterpart. Nevertheless, this is an important supplement to the 1966 diary and is recommended for most literature collections.
- Ellen Finnie Duranceau, MIT Lib.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars But yet, you kept reading ... April 18 2004
By Katie
Regardless of the subject matter, Anais Nin is an incredible writer and her way with words was probably part of her charm in life. Her ability to describe even the most perverted behavior as something transcendent and meaningful probably was the ability that kept her circle of lovers around her. She could make the most petty behavior seem poetic by her descriptions and that's seductive to someone caught in a relationship with such a person.
I read the journals of Anais Nin not because I identify with her, or even sympathise with her, but because I enjoy the way she makes every small event of her life seem like something elevated and rife with meaning. I am fascinated by the lurid details and by the paradox of all her affairs, were these men sexually abusing her, or was she using them? It seems, somehow both.
And there's a little bit of teenage angst still lurking inside me that was never cured. The part of me that still listens to the Smiths and loves Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton adores Anais Nin and her glorious tragic screwed-upness.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing! Feb. 19 2000
Incest, the second diary in Nin's "unexpurgated" journal works, is both elegant and disturbing. It is horribly fascinating because it is a "poetic" look at psychic pain. Nin, the reader soon deciphers, was probably a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. While her prose was among the best I had ever read, her attempts to romanticize her sexual relationship with her father did not work with me! She hated men: her father, her husband, her brothers, her therapist, and her countless lovers. She enjoyed hurting them. What does a sick person do to a good husband like Hugo? She abuses him; mistreats and makes a thorough fool of him. After an abortion, does a deranged diarist opt to heal without viewing the aborted fetus? Not at all! She holds the fetus in her arms and babbles about "mothering" Henry Miller! This powerful, but horrific work would be a fascinating case study for any psychologist! Her "passionate" and "white hot" sexual affairs were simply provocative blows of rage against a father who abused her. She was a fantastic artist and a manipulative and ambitious charmer who was able to channel her incredible pain into her work. Even though I am a lover of many of her writings(Henry and June was my favorite!), I will always believe she would have contributed so much more to literature in general if she had received the psychological help she so desperately needed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Anais Nin is selfish and human. Her ability to lie to everyone in her life strangely allows her to be more honest to herself--she herself admits that she is neurotic, but she is not deluded or insane. Her diary contains the documentation of her physical, intellectual, and spiritual explorations. "Incest" is fascinating because Nin is completely honest only in her diaries. In her inner freedom, she explores her femininity (how she becomes a "woman"); her relationships to men and the feminine/masculine relationship; and repression, oppression, and liberation. She constantly liberates herself only to find that she has succeeded in trapping herself again. Anais Nin's selfishness comes through in her diaries more honestly than most of us could manage, even in the safety of our own minds. She seems the most human, sane person on earth until one stands back to survey her life; she never lets the reader stand back while reading her diary.
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