happy birthday

Anaïs Nin

Today is the birthday of Anaïs Nin, born in Neuilly, France in 1903. She was the daughter of a Spanish composer and Danish-Cuban classically trained singer.

Her diaries are intensely personal.

October 1945

My greatest problem here, in a polemic-loving America, is my dislike of polemics, of belligerence of battle. Even intellectually, I do not like wrestling matches, I do not like talk marathons, I do not like arguments, or struggles to convert others. I seek harmony. If it is not there, I move away.

anais ninDecember 1946

It is almost frightening how I give myself to a situation. The present moment becomes the center.

April, 1932

The same thing which makes Henry [Henry Miller] indestructible is what makes me indestructible. The core of us is an artist, a writer. And it is in our work, by our work, that we reassemble the fragments, re-create the wholeness.

October, 1933

Dear diary, you have hampered me as an artist. But at the same time you have kept me alive as a human being. I created you because I needed a friend. And talking to this friend, I have, perhaps, wasted my life.

Today I begin to work. Writing for a hostile world discouraged me. Writing for you gave me the illusion of a warm ambiance I needed to flower in. But I must divorce you from my work. Not abandon you. No, I need your companionship. Even after I have worked, I look around me, and who can my soul talk to without fear of incomprehension? Here breathes my love of peace, here I breathe peace.

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