Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1939–1947

Anaïs Nin, edited by Paul Herron. Swallow Press, an imprint of Ohio Univ., in association with Sky Blue Press, $34.95 (428p) ISBN 978-0-8040-1146-4
This volume collects material that Nin (1903–1977) had excised from previous diaries—in particular, volumes 3 and 4—while her husband and lovers were still alive. The diary opens at the beginning of WWII as Nin and her husband, banker Hugh Guiler, escape Paris for New York City, and ends in 1947 when she meets Rupert Pole, the one lover who satisfied her. At times desperate and suicidal, she finds life more fulfilling when it conforms to her dreams—a series of mirages she conjures to avoid reality, the horrors of war, and an America she finds abysmally immature. Often in a state of semi-delirium where she finds herself drowning in her unconscious, she writes that she needs love “so abnormally” that “it all seems natural” to keep several relationships going at once, “all the one and the same love.” Her lovers included Henry Miller, 17-year-old Bill Pinckard, Edmund Wilson, and dozens of others, including an emotionally charged, but physically unfulfilled, relationship with Gore Vidal. Whether or not one sees this work, as Houghton Mifflin did when they considered these diaries for publication in 1942, as “the ultimate in neurotic self-absorption,” Nin fans will embrace the book’s emotional intensity and sensuality. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/09/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
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