Allure of Anaïs Nin

Apologies to the Nin World for not posting this interview with Steven Reigns earlier:

http://www.mattbaume.com/sewers-shownotes/2016/1/13/the-best-smut-youll-ever-read-ep-34-anais-nin

The event was this Friday. I was traveling when I received the interview and since Steven is interviewed in many contexts, I didn’t track that it might be an interview for this event. “Allure” also featured Diana Rabb and Tristine Rainer whom I had the pleasure of meeting at an earlier event last year where presenters included my friends Valerie Harms and Sas Colby and Barbara Kraft.

I received a picture today from Steven and my dear friend Judith Citrin who was a dear friend of Anaïs’s and spoke at the event this weekend. Here we are years ago with  Anais’s editor  at Swallow, Donna Ippolito discussing the current anaisnin.org site.

Steven mentioned he will update us on the event at a later moment. And of course I hope to touch base with Judith when she is back in the Chicago area to hear about it in person.

Simone Marie Lorenz: What Survives is Love

This picture of Simone Lorenz and Rupert was sent to us by Simone years ago with her memorial words for Rupert. In June after not quite two weeks after her death, her husband  Bruce Cohen sent us her farewell and a moving eulogy on his life in partnership with his “Shanti.” In a later missive he wrote:

I’m in the long recovery process ahead and currently sorting through some clothing. Rupert had gifted Simone with Anaïs’ cape/poncho (photo attached) and its my intention to find it a home where it will treasured, as well as bringing in some money to help pay the huge medical bills that surpassed all of our savings and resources. Renate had also gifted us two old LP records which are in very good shape, The Diary of Anaïs Nin — Volume One: 1931 – 1933; and The Diary of Anaïs Nin — Volume Two: 1934 – 1936. I would like to do the same with these.

I have no idea what they are worth and I am absolutely exhausted from the years of caring for Simone to even figure out how to figure that out. I’m wondering if any of you might know what their value might be, or be able to assist with connecting me with someone who might be interested. I want the transactions to be reasonable and good for all involved.

If anyone is interested in contacting Bruce Cohen (now Bodhi Jeffrey‘s officially since August 18th) please visit his website.

“What survives “wrote Simone at the end of her eulogy for Rupert “is Love.” We remember Simone, a beautiful soul and being with great love and affection.

It has taken us awhile to write this blog post. She died in May. We will always remember her graceful and peaceful presence with these lines of  Roethke:

“To come across warblers in early May is to forget time and death”

Remembering Rupert

Although  I did not personally know Anaïs while she was physically alive — I was only 11 at the time of her death —  she has been an important presence and influence in my life. I was first introduced to her in my teenage years through the initially published journals and fiction which made me feel less alone as I struggled with the challenge and opportunity of creating a life different from the oppressive and destructive one into which I was born. Anaïs showed me that we don’t have to settle for the limitations or trappings of the culture or family that we are born into.

My husband and I met dear Rupert in early 1995 after written correspondence followed by my phone call expressing interest in Anaïs and her “artistic revolutionary” friends. I also wanted to share a project I was working on featuring her literary gems. Rupert warmly invited us to the Silver Lake house which he still lived in until his final days — the very house he and Anaïs had designed together with his brother Eric Lloyd Wright. Thus, our friendship with Rupert and later, with his incredible family — the Wrights — began.

Visiting Rupert was like stepping back in time — back to when Anaïs was still alive, back into the images and stories of the magical times and colorful people described in Anaïs’ writings. Being with him and hearing his stories was inspiring and encouraging as we shared in our appreciation of beauty, nature and the creative process. Rupert had lovingly preserved the home and its treasures much like it had been in their life together so it felt as if Anaïs was still very much present there even decades after her passing. (I was always very impressed with his partner Kazuko’s graciousness in this.)

Later in the year, we were delighted to be invited to a party Rupert and Kazuko gave at the house which reunited, and introduced us to several of the surviving members of Anaïs’ inner circle — artist Renate Druks, writer/scholars Sharon Spencer and Tristine Rainer, and electronic music pioneer Bebe Barron. Sharing in the love of art, creativity, literature and Anaïs, they warmly welcomed us in as the next generation and dubbed me Anaïs’ “granddaughter”.

In spite of his own failing health, Rupert spent the remainder of his life carrying out Anaïs’ final wishes — that the diaries be republished, this time unexpurgated, exactly as she had originally written them. He would often show us the latest manuscript he was working on, typed directly from her original handwritten notebooks (on his manual typewriter!)

We will always remember Rupert’s kindness, generosity of spirit, warmth, gentle strength and quiet radiance. It was clearly apparent why Anaïs had fallen in love with this special man. And just as he had shown through his ongoing love and devotion to Anaïs, upon Rupert’s passing, I am again reminded that most importantly, what survives is love.

Simone Marie Lorenz is a writer, artist, social change agent and partner in her husband’s life coaching and consciousness practice. With a background in Transpersonal Psychology, her focus is on the awakening, transformation and evolution of human consciousness.

Anaïs Nin N 23° 11.899 W 106° 25.441 Mazatla (Sinaloa) Mexico

Steven Reigns sent us an interesting little tidbit on a plaque dedicated to Anaïs Nin, in Mazatlan, Mexico. Mazatlan hosts several plaques honoring authors….usually writers who have visited or stayed in Mazatlan. This sign doesn’t indicate whether Anaïs Nin ever stayed here. It reads:

“La sexualidad no es nada sin el combustible
que la enciende: lo intelectual, lo imaginativo, lo romantico, lo emotivo.”


(“Sexuality is nothing without the fuel 
to light it: the intellectual, the imaginative, the romantic, the emotional “. )

ANAIS NIN

Paris, 1903-Los Angeles, 1977

SOCIEDAD HISTORICA MAZATLECA
Mazatlan, Sin., Febrero del 2005.”

Click here to visit the page directly at Waymarking.com.

Perhaps one should hold off making a visit the site her  until the leader of the Sinoloan Drug Cartel the recently escaped Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman is captured again.

Regina Reinharz Klein (Jun 22, 1903) Whose Life Ended Too Soon

June 22 was Regina of Regina’s Closet’s birthday.

This luminous memoir, written by Diana Raab is an account of a a granddaughter finding her grandmother’s secret journal and from it reconstructing her glamorous “Grandma’s” life.

Regina’s Closet begins like Camus L’Etranger (The Stranger) with a riveting sentence.

Instead of “Mother died today” the reader opens to “I was ten years old the morning I found my grandmother dead.”

The book flap of this extraordinary book summarizes everything perfectly.

“When glamorous Regina inexplicably ends her own life, her ten-year old grand-daughter, Diana is devastated by the loss, and haunted by questions she wishes she could have asked her grandmother. Diana’s discovery of Regina’s secret journal three decades later gives her a window into the unknown events of Regina’s tumultuous life. Diana looks to the journal for answers, trying to reconnect with her beloved grandmother.

Through Regina’s words, Diana learns of the privations of World War I, the heartbreak of being orphaned, and the pandemonium of events during her immigration from Poland to Vienna to Paris and finally to the United States.

Diana draws strength from her grandmother’s example when she receives some of her own shattering news. To share her personal story, Diana must first tell Regina’s. The end result is a unique braided narrative, with excerpts of Regina’s diary interwoven with Diana’s own life experiences, which creates a touching portrait of a relationship between a granddaughter and her grandmother.”

Leaving us with this hypothetical book review always in our heart.

June 22, 2015 Happy Birthday Regina! We so enjoyed the amazing story of your life

detailed in your granddaughter’s memoir Regina’s Closet.

Years after her sudden death, I found my grandmother alive in the pages of her journal.

http://dianaraab.com/

Born the same year as Anaïs Nin, we contemplate what these two amazing women would have said to each other had they met in their lifetime. And Diana Raab,who also wrote Dear Anaïs a tribute to the power of diaries seems a granddaughter both would have been proud of.

Although slim, this stunning award-winning volume deserves a spot on your bookshelf.

Available from Amazon in Kindle and Hardcover versions.

Lampost Banners Celebrate National Poetry Month in LA

Steven Reigns the first Poet Laureate for the city of West Hollywood is celebrated along with other poets (23 banners in all) in California. Story about Reigns and his work can be found in this article from the Advocate

http://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/2014/09/12/read-poems-west-hollywoods-first-poet-laureate-steven-reigns

“The city already has installed 22 lamppost banners along Santa Monic Boulevard to highlight poetry and poets. “Public art is consumed by more people than any work at a museum. I want big exposure for poetry,” said Steven Reigns, the city poet, who curated this month’s events. “The great thing about lamppost banners advertising museum exhibitions is that our streets are lined with great works of art. It prompted me to think this would be the best way to expose mass amounts of people to poets and poetry.”

(excerpted from http://www.wehoville.com/2015/04/06/weho-celebrates-national-poetry-month-with-workshops-and-readings/)

Those lucky enough to live in LA can wander the streets and in a Narnian milli-second hold on to a lampost and enjoy reading poems or sit in an outdoor cafe or pub and have drinks and enjoy this of so Californian scene! or check out the various workshops and readings.

Banner On!

http://www.weho.org/Home/Components/News/News/3040/

Comments on the Guardian Article from Barbara Kraft

Barbara Kraft For anyone one interested in the last days of Nin’s life you might want to read my book Anaïs Nin: The Last Days published by Pegasus Books in paper and as an ebook by Paul Herron’s Sky Blue Press. The book has been very well reviewed and while I was interviewed by Sady Doyle she did not include me or a mention of my book in her article. I was with Anaïs Nin constantly the last two and a half years of her life and one evening, shortly before she died, at her request I got in bed with her and held her in my arms because she was in such terrible pain.From the press release:

“As Noel Riley Fitch, author of Anaïs:The Erotic Life of Anaïs Nin, writes of Kraft’s book: “An intimate and beautiful portrayal of the final years and painful death of Anaïs Nin … This compelling memoir is honest, critical, and full of perceptive insights into the relationships between Nin and her men.”Of all the young women I’ve worked with you are the one most like me,” Nin told Kraft as she lay dying.”

Kraft describes her initial meeting with Nin in February 1974, writing that Nin was poetry embodied and seemed to ‘glide’ over the rose-colored carpet of her Silver Lake home ‘like a swan skimming the surface of still waters.’ And in December of that year she begins what was to become a chronicle of Nin’s terrible two-year battle with cancer……As Kraft writes a few days before she died, Anaïs whispered her final dream into my ear… “I dreamed that I had all my dresses and capes laid out on the floor and that we were going to have them copied exactly for you so that when I am well we can go out together as twins…. But someone told me that was foolish because I could not get up and go out and that we could not be twins together.” Barbara Kraft

For those who followed the comments on Sadly Doyle’s article in the Guardian as the patron saint of social media, we thought we’d add Barbara Kraft’s comments here to the Guardian. Author of the riveting, remarkable reminiscence Anaïs Nin: The Last Days we recommend that you buy this book in paperback. Doyle lives up to her name when she chose sadly not to reference this luminous text.

We are sorry we do not have the man or woman power to handle comments on this blog. The site used to have a beautiful guestbook and also a news and event board. Sadly after some years both were over run by spammers, trolls and porno freaks. This despite passwords, registration and secure logins. Our stalwart web maven Cynthia Archer sat over morning coffee for a year wiping out the trash of the night before and saving the lovely or critical but always politic, polite and professional suggestions and comments but her Amazonian heroics over morning coffee began to effect her day. So we were forced to pull the plug. Believing like Nin about joy in the taste of coffee!

“Joy appears now in the little things. The big themes remain tragic but a leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the taste of coffee–Joy accompanied me as I walked to the press. The secret of joy is the mastery of pain.”

—Anaïs Nin

Thanks for the shoutout Steven Reigns

At the Nin event in LA March 28th, the organizer and coordinator of the event Steven Reigns was kind enough to give a shout out for our site in the program along with putting up two photo views of the site in the introductory slide show to the event along with a picture of this writer when she first met Nin in person at the Celebration weekend. I don’t have that photo handy since I am traveling so have captured a photo from  I Ching Expert Extraordinaire, Adele Aldridge’s marvelous memory of Nin on our Celebrations page.

Steven also showed a picture of amazon com from those early days of the web when the style de jour was flashing banners and lurid colors! He showed a picture of  the amazon.com in the early days taken from an article by Nicholas Carlson entitled What The Internet Looked Like in 1996 (he also wrote  Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo)

Because of Steven’s kind words, this site realized it owed a shout out to the young designers (who we found when they designed the web site for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago) and so today we posted it on Imurg minutes ago, please  if you enjoy this site…go to http://imgur.com/gallery/M4K7ZwP and click share to send this info on!

This site was created pre-Google, 17 years, 8 months, 23 days ago.by Xeno Media in Chicago. First copyright@ 1998. Google white space not yet the industry standard (when Google site launched Nov 11, 1998 the web standard style was screaming banners. No white space. But the Nin site was designed before Google brought white space to the internet. Kudos to the Xeno crew from a grateful client who only insisted that our site have no ads or flashing banners.

A Diary Means Yes Indeed: Tristine Rainer and Diana Raab

In a Diana’s Notebook blog post about her friend Tristine Rainer, writer and transpersonal psychologist Diana Raab, author of Dear Anaïs writes:

“My dear friend, Tristine Rainer, a powerful an accomplished woman in her own right (see her website) was Anaïs’ friend and protegee and their relationship left an indelible mark on Tristine. Often at lunch, Tristine will quote what Nin would have said or done in a given situation. Recently, I had asked Tristine to share the most important thing she learned from Nin, and she said “I learned that a crazy young woman in her twenties can become a joyful, wise woman in her sixties. It was her [Nin’s] belief that we can transform ourselves and our lives through self-creation. And that diary writing was a way.”

Rainer is the founder and the Director of the Center for Autobiographic Studies. A pioneer in journal writing and narrative autobiography Rainer co-taught a course with Anaïs and is the author of Your Life As Story and The New Diary. Both books are bibles for the memoir/journaling movement initiated from the famous and sometimes infamous Diaries. (visit the New Yorker’s cartoon bank to see the witty Jack Ziegler cartoon on the subpoenaed diaries of Anaïs Nin).

Anaïs wrote the forward to Rainer’s The New Diary. More on the Rainer-Nin connection can be found on the Anaïs Nin Blog Sky Blue Press.

Gertrude Stein’s comment about diaries seems particularly apt here: “A Diary means yes indeed”.

A hearty shout out of Yes Indeeds to these two talented writers, fellow PhDs, friends and memoirists, Rainer and Raab who we met at the extraordinary Nin event held in Los Angeles last Saturday coordinated by West Hollywood’s first poet laureate, Steven Reigns. More on the conference Anaïs Nin’s Influence: Women Who Knew Nin. later when official photos are posted. Personal photos from the afternoon will be added in upcoming posts.

To Order The New Diary with the Forward by Anaïs Nin

Picture your story here and order Your Life As Story