The first time Henry Miller committed love with Anais Nin, he threw herself at her with such cruelty that she felt she was "enchanted by a cannibal."
It was 1932 and the most notorious writers of eroticism in the 20th century were together in her rented castle outside of Paris.
The man from Nin was a wealthy banker, so she had paid for the impoverished Miller to travel from Dijon, where he sought a living as a teacher.
When they explored the terrain together, none doubted what would follow. But even a seasoned philanderer like Nin was surprised when Miller threw her on the ground and attacked her & # 39 ;. She was completely beaten.
Anais Nin, sexual free spirit and former darling of the literary avant-garde, is back in the news after the Duchess of Sussex revealed that the Franco-Cuban writer was an important inspiration in her life
Nin, sexual free spirit and the former darling of the literary avant-garde, is back in the news after the Duchess of Sussex revealed that the Franco-Cuban writer was an important inspiration in her life.
In the September issue of Vogue that Meghan has published by guests, she unquestionably quotes the rule: & # 39; I must be a mermaid … I have no fear of depths and a great fear of superficial life & # 39; – from the semi-autobiographical novel by Nin, The Four-Chamber Heart.
The duchess, who says she read the book "many moons ago", explains: "For this matter I imagined, why would we swim in the shallow end of the pool if we could go to the deep? A metaphor for life, as well as for this issue. Let's be braver. Let's go a little deeper. & # 39;
Rejected by critics during her colorful life as the provider of pretentious, self-righteous drivel and overheated erotic novels, Nin has since been rescued from the dark by a new generation of feminists who respect her pioneering frankness about men, women and sex – and her refusal to abide to gender conventions. She was certainly a force to fight with.
Nin, who died in 73 at the age of 73, was once mocked as a "monster of self-centeredness whose artistic pretensions now seem grotesque." But today her aphorisms are often quoted online by a growing legion of fans rediscovering her.
"We don't see things the way they are, we see them the way we are," is a particular favorite.
However, sex was the determining interest of her life. She wrote compulsively about it, just when she spent a large part of her life on it.
Nin was a wildly promiscuous woman whose daring sexual experiments included bigamy, a troop trois, incest with her own father and writing a book on sexual perversion so nasty – including pedophilia and necrophilia – that even online retailer Amazon is hiding it in his adult today content dungeon & # 39 ;. She has certainly not always been a fashionable name to talk to.
The duchess, who says she read the book "many moons ago", explains: "For this matter I imagined, why would we swim in the shallow end of the pool if we could go to the deep? A metaphor for life, as well as for this issue. Let's be braver. Let's go a little deeper
In the September issue of Vogue (photo) that Meghan edited by a guest, she approves of the line: & # 39; I must be a mermaid … I have no fear of depths and a great fear of superficial life & # 39; – from Nin & # 39; s semi-autobiographical novel, The Four-Chambered Heart
Born in Paris in 1903, from a Spanish-Cuban father and a French-Danish mother who divorced when she was eight, the beautiful Nin gained a reputation for her unbridled sex life long before anyone noticed her.
At the age of 20 she married a wealthy banker, Hugo Guiler, whose financial support would help her literary efforts.
As she recorded in her diaries and in novels that were thinly disguised memoirs, Nin paid back his dedication by ruthlessly deceiving him with the many men who became confused with her.
Her first book, about the British novelist D.H. Lawrence, gave her access to Bohemian literary circles and led her to Henry Miller, author of the semi-pornographic Tropic Of Cancer (who helped edit Nin) who became her lover.
But she just threw her wide and much farther than fellow writers.
She was fixated on Freud's theories about psychoanalysis and seduced two prominent practitioners who agreed to analyze her.
She even practiced briefly as a & # 39; psychiatrist & # 39; – have a deeply unethical – having sex with her patients on her couch and brutally complaining later that she couldn't help but wanted to mediate & # 39; in their problems.
Initially her writing career was unsuccessful and she had to publish four of the nine fictional works she had released during her lifetime. Only one of them, Under a Glass Bell, received praise from critics.
Her most sexually explicit book, a collection of erotic short stories called Delta Of Venus, was published posthumously.
It had never actually been intended for publication because she had written it in the 1930s to order for a dollar per page for a millionaire businessman in Paris. "More porn, less poetry," she explained accurately.
It was the Miller affair that helped define her. It was in the early 1930s when Nin, then in the late 20s, met the poor, dirty mouth and bullying author.
Nin was a wildly promiscuous woman whose daring sexual experiments included bigamy, a troop trois, incest with her own father and writing a book on sexual perversion so nasty – including pedophilia and necrophilia – that even online retailer Amazon is hiding it in his adult today content dungeon & # 39;
She considered him a genius and agreed to finance his life and writing. She even paid for his prostitutes and once insisted: "Please don't go too cheap, too ordinary woman."
Miller, in turn, suggested to Nin that she and Hugo would boost their marriage by venturing into unconventional sexual terrain. Nin called it "widened circles." Hugo was eventually persuaded to accompany her to a bordello where they saw a sex show performed by two prostitutes.
Shortly thereafter, Nin started an affair with the equally voluptuous Miller. After that first sexual encounter in the garden, she recorded how he would treat her as a prostitute in an attempt and asked her to hit him or crawl on his hands and knees. & # 39; It's like a forest fire to be with him, & # 39; she confessed.
The arrival in Paris of his second wife, June – himself bisexual – offered new opportunities for exploration.
Nin became obsessed with Mrs. Miller and they clearly had a sexual dalliance. In her diaries, she mused about the attraction of sapphism and how the "passivity" of the role of women in sex with men "suffocates me."
Speaking of Miller, she continued: "Instead of waiting for his pleasure, I would like to run it crazy.
"Is that what drives me to lesbian behavior? It scares me. Do women act that way? & # 39;
When this menage was portrayed as a trois in the 1990 Henry & June film – in which Uma Thurman played June – it won an American film classification mostly reserved for hardcore pornography.
Nin started an even more shocking affair when she was 30. Her father, pianist Joaquin Nin, appeared in her life after 20 years of absence and they started a sexual relationship.
She has never uttered anything but pleasure about the shocking connection, which perfectly illustrated Nin's complete inability to feel guilty.
Father and daughter have been spoiled for two weeks with "a non-stop orgiastic frenzy," she admitted in her diary. When the affair ended, Nin wrote provocatively: "If I am perverted, monstrous, aunt piss (too bad)! I am who I am! & # 39;
Her obsession with defying convention also extended to bigamy.
When she was 44, she met Rupert Pole, a handsome actor, in an elevator when they went to a millionaire's Manhattan party in 1947.
They started an affair after telling Pole – who was 16 years younger than she was about to become a forest ranger – that she was divorced, even though she was still married to Hugo Guiler.
For years, Nin was able to maintain a precarious trans-American balancing act (calling it her & # 39; bicoastal trapeze & # 39;), alternating Pole & # 39; s spartan log cabin in the Arizona wilderness, and Guiler's luxurious flat in New York – every man she occasionally needed to get away for work or relaxation.
When Pole once called her in New York, she managed to convince Guiler that he was a crazy fan who harassed her. She had a huge wallet large enough to hold the two checkbooks and two sets of prescription pills made for "Anais Guiler" or "Anais Pole".
She also saved an & # 39; lie box & # 39 ;, an assistant memorial about what lies she had told every man.
Nin would start an even more shocking affair when she was 30. Her father, pianist Joaquin Nin (photo), appeared after 20 years of absence in her life and they started a sexual relationship. When the affair ended, Nin wrote provocatively: "If I am perverted, monstrous, aunt piss (too bad)! I am who I am! & # 39;
It never occurred to Nin to consider something so boring conventional as divorce: in 1955 she generously married Pole and chose a remote desert village in Arizona for the ceremony, hoping that the marriage records would be hard to find.
It was not until 1966 that Nin finally achieved literary fame – shame would be closer to the goal – when the first part of her diaries was published. She started writing them at 11 and they ran to 35,000 pages.
Even after being heavily censored, they remained astonished at her sexual history and her many loved ones – an international range of celebrities including Miller and fellow writers Edmund Wilson and Antonin Artaud, and Freud & # 39; s colleague, the famous psychiatrist Otto Rank – and of course her father.
Nin sometimes slept with three different men in one day.
A friend told how they once stopped their car at a gas station and Nin was surprisingly friendly to all attendees and engineers. "Oh yes," she explained. "I sleep with all the men here."
The diaries sealed her fame and turned her into a feminist heroine.
Their popularity convinced her to quietly cancel her marriage to Pole, fearing that the financial success that followed the first part of her newly published diaries could warn the American taxpayer that two men were claiming marital compensation for her.
However, they continued to live together until her death. And all the while she remained married to Guiler.
"I was jealous, yes," said Pole, who died in 2006. "But I played the same games as Hugo, and pretended to believe her.
"In a way, I didn't care. I was not interested in conventional women or in a conventional marriage. & # 39;
Nin never had children, although she aborted a child in 1942 after six months. She later admitted that she was never sure whether her or Miller's child was.
When Miller brought the manuscript of his newest novel to her hospital room after its completion, she stated: "Here is a birth that interests me more."
Fans can now worship Nin as a pioneer of modern feminism – but it didn't always sound that way.
"Nature held me for the man's wife," she said in her diary. "Not a mother for children, but for men."
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