A marine snail gliding through the familiar city. Only in a dream could I move so gently along with the small human heartbeat in rhythm with the tug tug heartbeat of the tugboat, and Paris unfolding, uncurling, in beautiful undulations.

Anais Nin

Anais Nin

Profession: Author
Nationality: French

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He understands my pity for his ridiculous, humiliating physical necessity.

Love reduces the complexity of living. It amazes me that when Henry walks towards the cafe table where I wait for him, or opens the gate to our house, the sight of him is sufficient to exult me. No letter from anyone, even in praise of my book, can stir me as much as a note from him.

I gathered poets around me and we all wrote beautiful erotica. As we were condemned to focus only on sensuality, we had violent explosions of poetry. Writing erotica became a road to sainthood rather than to debauchery.

It is right that you should read according to your temperament, occupations, hobbies, and vocations. But it is a sign of great inner insecurity to be hostile to the unfamiliar, unwilling to explore the unfamiliar. In science, we respect the research worker. In literature, we should not always read the books blessed by the majority.

Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts. We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for a center. So we lost our center and have to find it again.

I stress the expansion and elaboration of language. In simplifying it, reducing it, we reduce the power of our expression and our power to communicate. Standardization, the use of worn-out formulas, impedes communication because it does not match the subtlety of our minds or emotions, the multimedia of our unconscious life.

Believing in the danger which sprang from objects as well as people, which dress, which shoes, which coat demanded less of her panicked heart and body? For a costume was a challenge too, a discipline, a trap which once adopted could influence the actor.

His theatre was the clouds, where no spectacle repeated itself. On land he was a foreigner. Land for him was stasis, and it pulled him into immobility, which was his image of death.

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.

Please understand I am in full rebellion against my own mind, that when I live, I live by impulse, by emotion, by white heat.

If all of us acted in unison as I act individually there would be no wars and no poverty. I have made myself personally responsible for the fate of every human being who has come my way.

We do not escape into philosophy, psychology, and art--we go there to restore our shattered selves into whole ones.

I'm awaiting a lover. I have to be rent and pulled apart and live according to the demons and the imagination in me. I'm restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.

Nothing seems true today except the death of the goldfish who used to make love at ninety kilometers an hour in the pool. The maid has given him a Christian burial. To the worms! To the worms!