Anais Nin, 1903-1977

“I gathered poets around me and we all wrote beautiful erotica. As we were condemned to focus only on sensuality, we had violent explosions of poetry. Writing erotica became a road to sainthood rather than to debauchery.” -Anais Nin, Delta of Venus

Somebody on facebook posted a quote from Anais Nin. It was in a context completely unrelated to anything having to do with her or her life. It was posted by a person whom I do not know, though I do know the church he attends, and I’m going to guess that if he or his friends had any idea who she was or how she lived, they would run and hide at the sight of her name on their screens.

So today we’re having a little Anais Nin lesson on Crea DelRand. For those who don’t know, Nin is the Aphra Behn of modern erotica by women. She is most famous for her diaries, in which she wrote of her affairs with prominent literary and cultural figures such as Henry Miller and psychoanalyst Otto Rank. She plumbed the depths of her subconscious through psychoanalysis and writing, and may have seduced her father in her twenties, on the advice of a psychoanalyst. Anais Nin wrote what she wanted, the way she wanted to. She flaunted the mores and expectations of society. (Which is more socially unacceptable: incest, erotica, or surrealism?)

Nin was much more than an erotica writer; though it is the erotica which draws me to feel a special kinship with her. Let all of us honor her, we women who write about sensuality and sexuality, with beauty and passion.

“I will die a poet killed by the nonpoets, will renounce no dream, resign myself to no ugliness, accept nothing of the world but the one I made myself. I wrote, lived, loved like Don Quixote, and on the day of my death I will say: ‘Excuse me, it was all a dream,’ and by that time I may have found one who will say: ‘Not at all, it was true, absolutely true.’”