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Anais Nin and her eccentric erotic writings

Anais Nin is a well-known author, who became famous for her honest writings, anchored strongly in the reality of her time. Anais was born under the name of Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell in France on February 21, 1903. She lived until January 14, 1977. Anais Nin traveled a lot in Spain and Cuba but she achieved her fame as an author in the United States.

Her talent as a writer began when she was only 11 years old. Since then she dedicated her life to her writings, which made her appreciated and recognized worldwide. Anais wrote everything from critical studies, novels, essays, short stories and erotica. Most of her writings were part of her personal diary published in seven volumes. Her eccentric sexuality started to show when she married the French artist Hugh Parker Guiler then she moved to Paris where she had a rather poetic life. During her marriage, Nin had several friendships with men who more often than not became her lovers as well. One of her lovers was psychotherapist Otto Rank and author Henry Miller. In fact, no mention of her husband Guiler is in theublished edition of the 1930s part of her diary. But her diaries do mention her relationship with Henry Miller was a very passionate and physical one, which might have resulted in a pregnancy ended by an abortion in 1934. In the 1940s, Anais Nin and Henry Miller moved to New York where she began her career as an erotica writer, earning one dollar a page. Her erotica writings soon became a challenge for the female sexuality, which never had a voice in this kind of literature before she came along. She presented the feminine perspective on sex and treated erotica stories through the eyes of women she could relate with. The most significant publications of her erotica writings came out in two collections titled “Delta of Venus” and “Little Birds.” While she was still legally married to Guiler, Anais had a second husband, the actor Robert Pole, whom she married in 1966. She continued her life as a bigamist until her death in 1977. In spite of her spicy erotic stories and eccentric lifestyle placed her in unique circumstances for the 20th century, Anais Nin didn’t reach fame through this path. Her worldwide recognition came once Harcourt Brace published “The diary of Anais Nin” when she was 63 years old. Soon after, she became a well-known author all over the United States. She received various invitations to literature events to give speeches and sign autographs.

Anais Nin wasn’t afraid to talk openly and honestly in her writings about her illegal abortions, her passionate relationships even those established outside her marriages and her physical attraction to famous men. In her journals, she also provided a realistic feminine perspective on life and sexuality as well as a bunch of sexual practices described in a clear and accurate way. Her writings were her way of showing who she really was inside but the world was not ready to receive her sexual freedom and appreciate it, as such, at least not until she reached her maturity. The support she received from the famous authors and actors in her life also helped her improve her image. Moreover, it brought public attention to her essays, which maybe otherwise wouldn’t have had the same chance to succeed. Through Anais’s legacy, women became more confident in themselves and learned to embrace their sexuality. Likewise, they learned to share it with the men in their lives. Anais Nin never let social boundaries and unnecessary conservative view to affect her way of understanding the world in general and her life, in particular her sexual skills. She was a woman who believed in her body and in the power of well-done erotic encounters to find a level of happiness others’ could only dream of reaching. And for this we thank her and appreciate her writings even today, over a century after her birth.

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