On Saturday July 15 1995, three friends who all had originally met through their connections with Anaïs Nin, sat having coffee and muffins on Valerie Harms’ cozy poolside patio in Weston, CT. While discussing books and reviews that had recently been published on Nin, they agreed, “This is not the woman we knew.” From that simple sentence, they began talking about how many people who knew Nin personally, had memories and experiences that intensely affected their lives and touched “the deep heart’s core” as Yeats wrote in his poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree.
They had been discussing the potentials of the World Wide Web, and since Moira Collins had access to a site, they decided to create a little cyberspace isle of Innisfree called “Thinking of Anaïs Nin” where their other friends might contribute memories and reflections starting on Anaïs’s birthday February 21, 1996. In 2004, Donna Ippolito, who had been Anaïs’s editor at Swallow Press (Alan Swallow piece, Caxton Club Talk), became executive editor of the Nin site.
They also spoke of expanding the site later and linking it to other not-yet created spaces that would enable all those interested in Anaïs to connect to people and organizations somehow related to Anaïs. Thus, anyone accessing the web from anywhere in the world could learn about sources, such as: Gunther Stuhlmann, Rupert Pole, Sharon Spencer, Richard Centing, Benjamin Franklin V, Duane Schneider, Philip K. Jason, Oliver Evans, Suzanne Nalbantian, Diane Richard-Allerdyce, Rochelle Lynn Holt (Ordering EIDOLONS) and Nin’s many many friends (Frances Steloff, Donna Ippolito, Sas Colby) with whom she corresponded, scholars, her publishers Harcourt Brace and Swallow Press (Scott Quadrangle, Athens OH 45701), archives at Northwestern University and UCLA, Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) and Ohio University (Athens, Ohio). To this list we add Paul Herron whose Sky Blue Press published Anaïs Nin: A Book of Mirrors and Sharon Spencer’s book Dance of the Ariadnes. Although Paul Herron did not personally know Anaïs Nin, as publisher of A Book of Mirrors (now out of print) he has developed a site which lists his collaborations with many in Nin’s inner circle. He has also single handedly spearheaded perhaps the most important tribute to the formidable Gunther Stuhlmann, Anaïs Nin’s literary agent and editor (who died in 2002) by listing and providing copies of the 19 years of one of his most important legacies Anaïs: The International Journal. Herron also produces the Cafe in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journals. Besides publishing Sharon Spencer, Paul also has published the works of Daisy Aldan who appears in Celebration and was a friend of Nin’s.
Valerie and Moira then called Rupert Pole in Los Angeles, and had a magical conversation about creating this little page. Rupert’s warm response encouraged them to translate their thoughts into reality. This web site was developed with the help of Mr. Pole and Ms. Nin’s formidable editor and longtime agent, Gunther Stuhlmann, whose introductions to the diaries are a wonderful introduction to the labyrinthian and spiral themes of Anaïs Nin’s work. Mr. Stuhlmann died in April of 2002. Rupert Pole died on July 16th, 2006.
On Moira’s return home to Chicago, she continued planning this page, encouraged by Peter Fraterdeus of fraterdeus.com who showed his enthusiastic support for such a page by generously providing this isle in cyberspace free rent until they find a more permanent home. Until then it’s in ours and- we hope- your “deep heart’s core”.
Please read We Have Another Life Besides Thinking of Anaïs Nin: A Message from Moira, Valerie and William James.
We welcome contributions from those who knew Anaïs personally and would like to share memories. We of course will also welcome other comments, suggestions, and offers of other’s time, talents, grants or cash who may be “Thinking of Anaïs Nin”…
Any correspondence to the site regarding content and changes must be sent via snail mail (M. Griffin PO Box 412 Beverly Shores, IN 46301) We update once a year between January 1 and Anaïs Nin’s birthday, February 21. The only revolving information is posted by site visitors in the guest book and message board. Checking there you will find information on interesting new items, such as a new blog entitled Anaïs and Me.
We also suggest that you visit our sister site (as in “Brother Sun, Sister Moon”) the Henry Miller Library site, Magnus Toren, Director.