Anaïs Nin - Diary Vol. II

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Oct. 4, 1927 "Spending the day in bed writing letters to break all my 'engagements' up to Thursday, when I hope to be well enough to attend Godoy's reception. I almost believe I am leading a conventional life. I can't be ill without upsetting the plans of several people. What slavery. I couldn't just disappear, leave for Italy or India, with my Journal, without causing comments and curiosity. That is all that social life means, the careful setting of a web. We feel that we are living because we feel the web pulling and feel we are important merely because our absence tears the web. This web, to most people, is a justification of their lives, and it is responsible for their illusions. to me it means nothing except when it communicates with Exceptions. It is amusing to think that the telephone, pneumatique, and date book, all the web sustainers, can serve two widely different ideas; and tragic to realize there is only one web - if you are in it, you are with the Idiots and with the Exceptions - if you're out of it, you are alone and deprived of both. We chose to be in the web. Only [illness] or a trip saves me from its tentacles."

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"December 29, 1927 - And yet whenever women find an emptiness in their lives they donít seek the cause of it within themselves, in their spiritual and intellectual life; no; they seek a man, they turn destructively upon the husband as if he were to blame, upon the children. They turn to mere physical sensation, to base deception---I canít understand. . . I realize that I am now doing nothing but fulfilling dreams, nothing but materializing images, using my will to make all my desires tangible. Of course, I never dreamed all that I am doing. When I was younger I imagined my dancing, my writing and marriage, though not quite like the real one, which surpasses the conceptions of a child. My imagination has been my lamp. I have only to desire wisely and intensely, and with my will, to fulfill. Is this an illusion, a conceit of my willís power, so newly discovered that perhaps it has intoxicated me? It is so new for me to have an active will after years of merely imaginary activity. Even last year, walking down Montparnesse, I asked myself what could happen if suddenly I said and did exactly what I wanted to say and do. I foresaw cataclysms. Yet I tried it. And the result? Nobody hurt---a few scandalized; more, pleased and proud; even more, influenced and enlivened by my activity. Every day I feel surer of myself, my desires soar higher. I feel power in myself, conviction. If it is conceit, a vast empty bubble of vanity, an illusion as false as my old modesty was false; if I am deceived intellectually, by the fireworks of my life, if its ascension is the ascension of self-glory; if there is no spiritual value and philosophical significance to my life, then there is no truth and no sincerity in this world, because no woman ever looked down into herself with as much cold criticism, no woman ever analyzed her ideas and actions more carefully, none was ever more doubtful of herself, more self-deprecating, more fearful of hypocrisy, more terrified of lies, more eager for truth, than I. You, my Journal, alone, know that."
The Early Diaries of Anais Nin, book 4, 1927-1931
edited by Joaquin Nin-Culmell
Paperback Published by Harcourt Brace 1986
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  • Peter Owen, Paperback - 512 pages Buy this book online at amazon.co.uk