Anais Nin Quotes

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Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.
Anaïs Nin
We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
Anaïs Nin
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Anaïs Nin
Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
Anaïs Nin
How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?
Anaïs Nin
I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.
Anaïs Nin
I am only responsible for my own heart, you offered yours up for the smashing my darling. Only a fool would give out such a vital organ
Anaïs Nin
Luxury is not a necessity to me, but beautiful and good things are.
Anaïs Nin
The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.
Anaïs Nin
Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.
Anaïs Nin
I am lonely, yet not everybody will do. I don't know why, some people fill the gaps and others emphasize my loneliness. In reality those who satisfy me are those who simply allow me to live with my ''idea of them.
Anaïs Nin
Anxiety is love's greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.
Anaïs Nin
The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.
Anaïs Nin
We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.
Anaïs Nin
If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.
Anaïs Nin
I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.
Anaïs Nin
Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together.
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.
Anaïs Nin
The secret of joy is the mastery of pain.
Anaïs Nin
I will always be the virgin-prostitute, the perverse angel, the two-faced sinister and saintly woman.
Anaïs Nin (Henry & June)
From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life.
Anaïs Nin
Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.
Anaïs Nin
We are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them.
Anaïs Nin
What can I do with my happiness? How can I keep it, conceal it, bury it where I may never lose it? I want to kneel as it falls over me like rain, gather it up with lace and silk, and press it over myself again.
Anaïs Nin (Henry & June)
I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live.
Anaïs Nin
Someone told me the delightful story of the crusader who put a chastity belt on his wife and gave the key to his best friend for safekeeping, in case of his death. He had ridden only a few miles away when his friend, riding hard, caught up with him, saying 'You gave me the wrong key!
Anaïs Nin
There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
I write emotional algebra.
Anaïs Nin
I take pleasure in my transformations. I look quiet and consistent, but few know how many women there are in me.
Anaïs Nin
Dreams are necessary to life.
Anaïs Nin
The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.
Anaïs Nin
Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it.
Anaïs Nin
What I cannot love, I overlook.
Anaïs Nin
You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
Societies in decline have no use for visionaries.
Anaïs Nin
The greatest feminists have also been the greatest lovers. I'm thinking not only of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley, but of Anais Nin, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and of course Sappho. You cannot divide creative juices from human juices. And as long as juicy women are equated with bad women, we will err on the side of being bad.
Erica Jong
The truly faithless one is the one who makes love to only a fraction of you. And denies the rest.
Anaïs Nin
I sat there for three hours and did not feel the time or the boredom of our talk and its foolish disconnection. As long as I could hear his voice, I was quite lost, quite blind, quite outside my own self.
Anaïs Nin
In chaos, there is fertility.
Anaïs Nin
I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.
Anaïs Nin
Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.
Anaïs Nin
For you and for me the highest moment, the keenest joy, is not when our minds dominate but when we lose our minds, and you and I both lose it in the same way, through love.
Anaïs Nin (Fire: From A Journal of Love - The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin (1934-1937))
There are many ways to be free. One of them is to transcend reality by imagination, as I try to do.
Anaïs Nin
I want to make my own discoveries…….penetrate the evil which attracts me
Anaïs Nin (Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love": The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1931-1932)
You carry away with you a reflection of me, a part of me. I dreamed you; I wished for your existence. You will always be a part of my life. If I love you, it must be because we shared, at some moment, the same imaginings, the same madness, the same stage.
Anaïs Nin
Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terror, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.
Anaïs Nin
Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together.
Anaïs Nin
What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
I am the most tired woman in the world. I am tired when I get up. Life requires an effort I cannot make. Please give me that heavy book. I need to put something heavy like that on top of my head. I have to place my feet under the pillows always, so as to be able to stay on earth. Otherwise I feel myself going away, going away at a tremendous speed, on account of my lightness. I know that I am dead. As soon as I utter a phrase my sincerity dies, becomes a lie whose coldness chills me. Don't say anything, because I see that you understand me, and I am afraid of your understanding. I have such a fear of finding another like myself, and such a desire to find one! I am so utterly lonely, but I also have such a fear that my isolation be broken through, and I no longer be the head and ruler of my universe. I am in great terror of your understanding by which you penetrate into my world; and then I stand revealed and I have to share my kingdom with you.
Anaïs Nin
I have no brakes on...analysis is for those who are paralyzed by life.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
This diary is my kief, hashish and opium pipe. This is my drug and my vice.
Anaïs Nin
I often see how you sob over what you destroy, how you want to stop and just worship; and you do stop, and then a moment later you are at it again with a knife, like a surgeon.
Anaïs Nin
Stories do not end.
Anaïs Nin
It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.
Anaïs Nin
Writers do not live one life, they live two. There is the living and then there is the writing. There is the second tasting, the delayed reaction.
Anaïs Nin
To hell, to hell with balance! I break glasses; I want to burn, even if I break myself. I want to live only for ecstasy. I’m neurotic, perverted, destructive, fiery, dangerous - lava, inflammable, unrestrained.
Anaïs Nin
There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.
Anaïs Nin (Journals of Anais Nin Volume 3)
I'm sick of my own romanticism!
Anaïs Nin (Henry & June)
I want to bite into life, and to be torn by it.
Anaïs Nin
The body is an instrument which only gives off music when it is used as a body. Always an orchestra, and just as music traverses walls, so sensuality traverses the body and reaches up to ecstasy.
Anaïs Nin
Good things happen to those who hustle.
Anaïs Nin
In the world of the dreamer there was solitude: all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living. They took place in solitude. But with action came anxiety, and the sense of insuperable effort made to match the dream, and with it came weariness, discouragement, and the flight into solitude again. And then in solitude, in the opium den of remembrance, the possibility of pleasure again.
Anaïs Nin
My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to find peace with exactly who and what I am. To take pride in my thoughts, my appearance, my talents, my flaws and to stop this incessant worrying that I can’t be loved as I am.
Anaïs Nin
I'm restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.
Anaïs Nin
I know why familles were created, with all their imperfections. They humanize you. They are made to make you forget yourself occasionally, so that the beautiful balance of life is not destroyed.
Anaïs Nin
All those who try to unveil the mysteries always have tragic lives. At the end they are always punished.
Anaïs Nin
There were silences in my head. I could abandon myself completely to the pleasure of multiple relationships, to the beauty of the day, to the joys of the day. It was as if a cancer in me had ceased gnawing me. The cancer of introspection.
Anaïs Nin
When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others.
Anaïs Nin
Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive.
Anaïs Nin
I feel a little like the moon who took possession of you for a moment and then returned your soul to you. You should not love me. One ought not to love the moon. If you come too near me, I will hurt you.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.
Anaïs Nin
The obstacle became his alibi for weakness.
Anaïs Nin
Living never wore one so much as the effort not to live.
Anaïs Nin
And in his eyes he had the look of the cat who inspires a desire to caress but loves no one, who never feels he must respond to the impulses he arouses.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
His life rushes onward in such torrential rhythm that...only angels and devils can catch the tempo of it.
Anaïs Nin (Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love": The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1931-1932)
It is a sign of great inner insecurity to be hostile to the unfamiliar.
Anaïs Nin
Physical experiences, lacking the joys of love, depend on twists and perversions of pleasure. Abnormal pleasures kill the taste for normal ones.
Anaïs Nin
How well I know with what burning intensity you live. You have experienced many lives already, including several you have shared with me- full rich lives from birth to death, and you just have to have these rest periods in between.
Anaïs Nin
Nature forms us for ourselves, not for others; to be, not to seem.
Anaïs Nin (The Journals of Anais Nin)
I had been struck by the analogy between neurosis and romanticism. Romanticism was truly a parallel to neurosis. It demanded of reality an illusory world, love, an absolute which it could never obtain, and thus destroyed itself by the dream.
Anaïs Nin
I love her for what she has dared to be, for her hardness, her cruelty, her egoism, her perverseness, her demoniac destructiveness. She would crush me to ashes without hesitation. She is a personality created to the limit. I worship her courage to hurt, and I am willing to be sacrificed to it. She will add the sum of me to her. She will be June plus all that I contain.
Anaïs Nin (Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love": The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1931-1932)
Question: I am interested in so many things, and I have a terrible fear because my mother keeps telling me that I'm just going to be exploring the rest of my life and never get anything done. But I find it really hard to set my ways and say, "Well, do I want to do this, or should I try to exploit that, or should I escape and completely do one thing?" Anaïs Nin: One word I would banish from the dictionary is 'escape.' Just banish that and you'll be fine. Because that word has been misused regarding anybody who wanted to move away from a certain spot and wanted to grow. He was an escapist. You know if you forget that word you will have a much easier time. Also you're in the prime, the beginning of your life; you should experiment with everything, try everything.... We are taught all these dichotomies, and I only learned later that they could work in harmony. We have created false dichotomies; we create false ambivalences, and very painful one's sometimes -the feeling that we have to choose. But I think at one point we finally realize, sometimes subconsciously, whether or not we are really fitted for what we try and if it's what we want to do. You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you're not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn't a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things. They would like you to fit in right away so that things work now.
Anaïs Nin
Life is a full circle, widening until it joins the circle motions of the infinite.
Anaïs Nin
Warmth, perfume, rugs, soft lights, books. They do not appease me. I am aware of time passing, of all the world contains that I have not seen, of all the interesting people I have not met.
Anaïs Nin (A Cafe in Space: The Anais Nin Literary Journal, Volume 3)
I cheat him, I deceive him, yet the world does not sink in sulphur-colored mists. Madness conquers. I can no longer put my mosaics together. I just cry and laugh.
Anaïs Nin
I really believe that if I were not a writer, not a creator, not an experimenter, I might have been a very faithful wife. I think highly of faithfulness. But my temperament belongs to the writer, not to the woman
Anaïs Nin
This great handsomeness I took into myself later when he desired me, but I took it as one breathes air, or swallows a snowflake, or yields to the sun.
Anaïs Nin (Henry & June)
I see enormous loves growing immense and finally crushing me.
Anaïs Nin
Many couples, many people, are not living with real human beings, but with their ghosts. Who has not followed for years the spell of a particular tone of voice, from voice to voice, as the fetishist follows a beautiful foot, scarcely seeing the woman herself? A voice, a mouth, an eye, all stemming from the original fountain of our first desire, directing it, enslaving us, until we choose to unravel the fatal web and free ourselves.
Anaïs Nin
The source of sexual power is curiosity, passion. You are watching its little flame die of asphyxiation.
Anaïs Nin (A Cafe in Space: The Anais Nin Literary Journal, Volume 3)
Coming near him like a ballet dancer she took a leap towards him, and he, frightened by her vehemence, and fearing that she would crash against him, instinctively became absolutely rigid, and she felt herself embracing a statue.
Anaïs Nin
The man who was once starved may revenge himself upon the world not by stealing just once, or by stealing only what he needs, but by taking from the world an endless toll in payment of something irreplaceable, which is the lost faith.
Anaïs Nin
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death. Living never wore one out so much as the effort not to live. Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat. Perfection is static, and I am in full progress. Abnormal pleasures kill the taste for normal ones. -Anais Nin "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." -Bible-Genesis 3:19 "While I thought that I was learning to live, I have been learning how to die" - Leonardo da Vinci
Anaïs Nin
You do not know what you are missing by your microscopic examination of sexual activity to the exclusion of aspects which are fuel that ignites it. Intellectual, imaginative, romantic, emotional. This is what gives sex its surprising textures, its subtle transformations, its aphrodisiac elements. You are shrinking your world of sensations. You are withering it, starving it, draining its blood.
Anaïs Nin
Often, though, the passivity of the woman's role weighs on me, suffocates me. Rather than wait for his pleasure, I would like to take it, to run wild. Is it that which pushes me into lesbianism? It terrifies me. Do women act thus? Does June go to Henry when she wants him? Does she mount him? Does she wait for him? He guides my inexperienced hands. It is like a forest fire, to be with him. New places of my body are aroused and burnt. He is incendiary. I leave him in an unquenchable fever.
Anaïs Nin (Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love": The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1931-1932)
And sometimes I believe your relentless analysis of June leaves something out, which is your feeling for her beyond knowledge, or in spite of knowledge. I often see how you sob over what you destroy, how you want to stop and just worship; and you do stop, and then a moment later you are at it again with a knife, like a surgeon. What will you do after you have revealed all there is to know about June? Truth. What ferocity in your quest of it. You destroy and you suffer. In some strange way I am not with you, I am against you. We are destined to hold two truths. I love you and I fight you. And you, the same. We will be stronger for it, each of us, stronger with our love and our hate. When you caricature and nail down and tear apart, I hate you. I want to answer you, not with weak or stupid poetry but with a wonder as strong as your reality. I want to fight your surgical knife with all the occult and magical forces of the world.
Anaïs Nin (Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love": The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1931-1932)
Woman’s role in creation should be parallel to her role in life. I don’t mean the good earth. I mean the bad earth too, the demon, the instincts, the storms of nature. Tragedies, conflicts, mysteries are personal. Man fabricated a detachment which became fatal. Woman must not fabricate. She must descend into the real womb and expose its secrets and its labyrinths. She must describe it as the city of Fez, with its Arabian Nights gentleness, tranquility and mystery. She must describe the voracious moods, the desires, the worlds contained in each cell of it. For the womb has dreams. It is not as simple as the good earth. I believe at times that man created art out of fear of exploring woman. I believe woman stuttered about herself out of fear of what she had to say. She covered herself with taboos and veils. Man invented a woman to suit his needs. He disposed of her by identifying her with nature and then paraded his contemptuous domination of nature. But woman is not nature only. She is the mermaid with her fish-tail dipped in the unconscious.
Anaïs Nin
1) Work on one thing at a time until finished. 2) Start no more new books, add no more new material to "Black Spring." 3) Don't be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand. 4) Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time! 5) When you can't create you can work. 6) Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers. 7) Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it. 8) Don't be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only. 9) Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude. 10) Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing. 11) Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.
Henry Miller
Dear Collector: We hate you. Sex loses all its power and magic when it becomes explicit, mechanical, overdone, when it becomes a mechanistic obsession. It becomes a bore. You have taught us more than anyone I know how wrong it is not to mix it with emotion, hunger, desire, lust, whims, caprices, personal ties, deeper relationships that change its color, flavor, rhythms, intensities. "You do not know what you are missing by your micro-scopic examination of sexual activity to the exclusion of aspects which are the fuel that ignites it. Intellectual, imaginative, romantic, emotional. This is what gives sex its surprising textures, its subtle transformations, its aphrodisiac elements. You are shrinking your world of sensations. You are withering it, starving it, draining its blood. If you nourished your sexual life with all the excitements and adventures which love injects into sensuality, you would be the most potent man in the world. The source of sexual power is curiosity, passion. You are watching its little flame die of asphyxiation. Sex does not thrive on monotony. Without feeling, inventions, moods, no surprises in bed. Sex must be mixed with tears, laughter, words, promises, scenes, jealousy, envy, all the spices of fear, foreign travel, new faces, novels, stories, dreams, fantasies, music, dancing, opium, wine. How much do you lose by this periscope at the tip of your sex, when you could enjoy a harem of distinct and never-repeated wonders? No two hairs alike, but you will not let us waste words on a description of hair; no two odors, but if we expand on this you cry Cut the poetry. No two skins with the same texture, and never the same light, temperature, shadows, never the same gesture; for a lover, when he is aroused by true love, can run the gamut of centuries of love lore. What a range, what changes of age, what variations of maturity and innocence, perversity and art . . . We have sat around for hours and wondered how you look. If you have closed your senses upon silk, light, color, odor, character, temperament, you must be by now completely shriveled up. There are so many minor senses, all running like tributaries into the mainstream of sex, nourishing it. Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)