Happy Birthday, Anais Nin!

She is not very famous. I discovered her by pure chance, for she writes the kind of stuff that people usually classify as cheap. Common themes are women’s sexuality, art, music, and the heady combination of all those. She is fantastic! The way she explores the little talked about domain of women’s needs and desires, the way she puts into words those emotions, those feelings, candidly, yet without sounding cheap is commendable.

Murakami is another author who does that really well, but at the end of the day, he is a man and I do believe that this is something the writing of which would need an experience. Also, her works are far more graphic, intended for a much more mature reader.
According to Wikipedia, and the reference is to Otto Rank, one of Freud’s circle of psychoanalysts. He was her psychotherapist I believe…

“Rank, she observes, helped her move back and forth between what she could verbalize in her journals and what remained unarticulated. She discovered the quality and depth of her feelings in the wordless transitions between what she could say and what she could not say. “As he talked, I thought of my difficulties with writing, my struggles to articulate feelings not easily expressed. Of my struggles to find a language for intuition, feeling, instincts which are, in themselves, elusive, subtle, and wordless”.

Oh you beauty!


Can’t wait!

I can’t wait to get cracking on this set 🙂



The set consists of:

A Mere Interlude by Thomas Hardy
A Russian Affair by Anton Chekhov
Bodily Secrets by William Trevor
Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan
Cures for Love by Stendahl
Deviant Love by Sigmund Freud
Doomed Love by Virgil
Eaten Heart by Giovanni Boccaccio
Eros Unbound by Anaïs Nin
First Love by Ivan Turgenev
Forbidden Fruit by Peter Abelard
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy
Magnetism by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Mary by Vladimir Nabakov
Of Mistresses, Tigresses and Other Conquests by Giacomo Casanova
Something Childish But Very Natural by Katherine Mansfield
The Seducer’s Diary by Søren Kierkegaard
The Virgin and the Gypsy by D. H. Lawrence
The Women Who Got Away by John Updike

Happy Birthday, Anaïs Nin!

“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.”

In Cold Blood …a review

On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.
Five years, four months and twenty-nine days later, on April 14, 1965, Richard Eugene Hickock, thirty-three, and Perry Edward Smith, aged thirty-six, were hanged for the crime.

This is a factual book that seems fictitious on account of the intensity of the drama involved. The amount of research that the author, Truman Capote, has put into the book is unbelievable. He was inspired by a 300 word article in The New York Times and that led to a six year long, meticulous research.

The novel follows a parallel storyline of the victims and the murderers. Although the reader is acquainted with the criminals fairly in the beginning, what remains a complete mystery is their motive for brutally killing a perfectly normal, well-loved, respectable farming family. The narrative is well-rounded, taut, and leaves no details unmentioned. It is a fairly long novel, I thought, but not a moment was dragged and not an extra word exists. Brilliant!

Quote: ‘Cullivan probed, trying to gauge the depth of what he assumed would be Perry’s condition. Surely he must be experiencing a remorse sufficiently profound to summon a desire for God’s mercy and forgiveness? Perry said, “Am I sorry? If that’s what you mean — I’m not. I don’t feel anything about it. I wish I did. But nothing about it bothers me a bit. Half an hour after it happened, Dick was making jokes and I was laughing at them. Maybe we’re not human. I’m human enough to feel sorry for myself.’

Lady Chatterley’s Lover …a review

No book should be banned. Having said that, this book is the most scandalous writing I’ve encountered after Lolita. The protagonist of this D. H. Lawrence novel is Lady Chatterley, a newly married young woman, whose upper-class husband has been paralyzed and rendered impotent. Her sexual frustration leads her into an affair with the gamekeeper of their estate. This novel is about Constance’s realisation that she cannot live with the mind alone; she must also be alive physically.

She feels that her husband has become passionless and empty. He is portrayed as a weak, vain man, displaying a patronising attitude toward his supposed inferiors. He soullessly pursues money and fame through industry and the meaningless manipulation of words. His impotence is symbolic of his failings as a strong, sensual man. The contrasting character of Mellors is one rooted in deep-seated sensuality, the knowledge of a woman’s body and her needs, and of a strong and sultry man.

The reason why this book was banned was not because of the usage of words like ‘cunt’ or ‘fuck’ freely throughout, but because the book acknowledged a woman’s physical and sexual needs. In the early ‘90s of pretentious upper-class men who kept mistresses despite having wives, this book turned those tables. That is why this book was banned. That is why it had to be un-banned eventually.

This is a beautiful but heavy book. There are multiple layers to every character and if one wants to truly understand the connotations, one must really concentrate. And yes, take it in spirit so as not to have an upturned nose at the end.

Quote: “It was not the passion that was new to her, it was the yearning adoration. She knew she had always feared it, for it left her helpless; she feared it still, lest if she adored him too much, then she would lose herself, become effaced, and she did not want to be effaced, a slave, like a savage woman. She must not become a slave. She feared her adoration, yet she would not at once fight against it.”