Anais Nin ~ Why Do We Write?
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
― Anaïs Nin
The Need Of A Woman
“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 naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.”
― Anaïs Nin
Portrait of Anne
André Lhote - 1930
Anais Nin ~ On Relationships
“You know I have friends who used to laugh at me when I said we have to create a relationship. They thought relationship is a miracle, it just happens, it comes, we find it, and there it is. But it’s not true. I never found that to be true. One friend was amazed at things that happened in a relationship over the years. And I said: “Yes, we created that. This friendship was created with talking, with struggle, with crises.” So wait until you feel right within yourself, and then you’ll feel right towards others.”
— Anais Nin
Anais Nin ~ Are We Dead Or Alive?
“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… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. 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.”
― Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934
Zaida Ben-Yúsuf: 'Portrait-Study', 1898
Henry Miller ~ The Lonely Soul
“I see myself forever and ever as the ridiculous man, the lonely soul, the wanderer, the restless frustrated artist, the man in love with love, always in search of the absolute, always seeking the unattainable”
― Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
Anais Nin ~ The Reality Of A Real Woman
"Woman’s role in creation should be parallel to her role in life. I don’t mean the good earth. I mean the bad earth too, the demon, the instincts, the storms of nature. Tragedies, conflicts, mysteries are personal. Man fabricated a detachment which became fatal. Woman must not fabricate. She must descend into the real womb and expose its secrets and its labyrinths. She must describe it as the city of Fez, with its Arabian Nights gentleness, tranquility and mystery. She must describe the voracious moods, the desires, the worlds contained in each cell of it. For the womb has dreams. It is not as simple as the good earth. I believe at times that man created art out of fear of exploring woman. I believe woman stuttered about herself out of fear of what she had to say. She covered herself with taboos and veils. Man invented a woman to suit his needs. He disposed of her by identifying her with nature and then paraded his contemptuous domination of nature. But woman is not nature only.
She is the mermaid with her fish-tail dipped in the unconscious."
Henry Miller ~ His Passion For Anais Nin
"Anaïs, I don't know how to tell you what I feel. I live in perpetual expectancy. You come and the time slips away in a dream. It is only when you go that I realize completely your presence. And then it is too late. You numb me. [...] This is a little drunken, Anaïs. I am saying to myself "here is the first woman with whom I can be absolutely sincere." I remember your saying - "you could fool me, I wouldn't know it." When I walk along the boulevards and think of that. I can't fool you - and yet I would like to. I mean that I can never be absolutely loyal - it's not in me. I love women, or life, too much - which it is, I don't know. But laugh, Anaïs, I love to hear you laugh. You are the only woman who has a sense of gaiety, a wise tolerance - no more, you seem to urge me to betray you. I love you for that. [...]
I don't know what to expect of you, but it is something in the way of a miracle. I am going to demand everything of you - even the impossible, because you encourage it. You are really strong. I even like your deceit, your treachery. It seems aristocratic to me."
Henry Miller (A Literate Passion : Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
Anais Nin ~ I Am So Tired…
"I am the most tired woman in the world. I am tired when I get up. Life requires an effort I cannot make. Please give me that heavy book. I need to put something heavy like that on top of my head. I have to place my feet under the pillows always, so as to be able to stay on earth. Otherwise I feel myself going away, going away at a tremendous speed, on account of my lightness. I know that I am dead. As soon as I utter a phrase my sincerity dies, becomes a lie whose coldness chills me. Don't say anything, because I see that you understand me, and I am afraid of your understanding. I have such a fear of finding another like myself, and such a desire to find one! I am so utterly lonely, but I also have such a fear that my isolation be broken through, and I no longer be the head and ruler of my universe. I am in great terror of your understanding by which you penetrate into my world; and then I stand revealed and I have to share my kingdom with you."
Photo Carl van Vechten (1880-1964)
Anais Nin ~ On Happiness
"If what Proust says is true, that happiness is the absence of fever, then i will never know happiness. for I am possessed by a fever for knowledge, experience, and creation."
Photo Irving Penn, Anais Nin (1971)
Anais Nin ~ On Music
"Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together."
Photos by Peter and Alice Gowland