Thinking of Anais Nin: Quote of the Month

When I was working on the diary I became aware of a wonderful image: relationships were very much like stellar constellations–friendships gravitated around the cities of my life. Paris, New York, Los Angeles.

There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.

There were always in me, two women at least, one woman desperate and bewildered, who felt she was drowning and another who would leap into a scene, as upon a stage, conceal her true emotions because they were weaknesses, helplessness, despair, and present to the world only a smile, an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest.

We are going to the moon, that is not very far. Man has so much farther to go within himself.

I saw things as a chain and felt that everything is continuous and never really ends. I had a sense of continuity and relatedness relatedness between the past and the present and the future, between races and between the sexes, between everything. –Conversations with Anaïs Nin ( Wendy M. Dubow editor)

What I like best about myself my audacity, my courage. The ways I have found to be true to myself without causing too much pain or damage.. What I hate so much is my vanity, my need to shine, my need of applause and my sentimentality. I would like to be harder. I cannot make a joke, make fun of anyone, without feeling regrets.

The diary was once a disease. I do not take it up now for the same reasons. Before it was because I was lonely , or because I did not know how to communicate with others. I needed the communion. Now it is to write , not for solace but for the pleasure of describing others, out of abundance.

I have not been unaware of the political drama going on, but I have not taken any sides because politics to me, all of them seem rotten to the core and all based on economics , not humanitarianism. The suffering of the word seemed to me without remedy except by what we could give individually. I did not trust any movement or system…

…nothing changes the nature of man. I know too well that man can only change himself psychologically, and that fear and greed make him inhuman, and it is only a change of roles we attain with each revolution, just a change of men in power, that is all, the evil remains.

The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself.

Volume Two (1934-1939) The Diary of Anaïs Nin (These quotes taken from Gunther Stuhlmann’s preface)

Anaïs Nin citations are from the Introduction to The Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1931-1934, Edited and introduced by Gunther Stuhlmann. © 1966 by Anaïs Nin.

Introduction © 1966 by Gunther Stuhlmann.

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Used by permission.