Saturday, September 25, 2010

Anais Nin Letter June 3, 1972

Henry James said of the writer's condition-"It is absolute solitude. Don't go looking for it. If it seeks you..."
Here is a most extraordinary document from Anais - I have kept these letters in trust to her wishes that I publish none of them until 30 years after her death - I will write about this one extensively in a later post - The subject is one on which Anais Nin & Marguerite Young did not share a like mind.
Two of the characters in my novel "The Chinese In Montana" - Ah Toy & The Princess Tata - embody these two opposing points of view - But enough of that - Here is the letter -


  1. It is difficult to comment on this letter, because I just want to memorize it, and continue to reflect on it. Anais Nin beautifully describes the artistic dilemma- wanting to reach others, who isolate themselves, but also being completely alone in your specific vision- it is your dream and no one else can write it, or articulate it as you can. I've been thinking lately about how it is so difficult for the 'left' or activist groups to really accomplish something significant. I wonder if it's because so many of us live in a dream of what we wish to accomplish, and fail to reach out to the other isolated artists, activists, dreamers.

  2. Lillian:
    I appreciate your having gotten the conversation going on this significant fragment from my Anais Nin archives.
    Yes, the letter is profound, and it was Anais's wish that her letters to me would awaken other minds to comment, so I am certain she is pleased to see your words.

  3. I came across this while researching institutional critique for something I am working on... and found it to be a nice counterpoint, a personal critique of sorts, executed sensitively in the way only a gifted writer knows how. It is a real problem, how to give and receive criticism, without at the same time stepping over a line, or perhaps stepping over a line without destroying the dreaming. Thank you for posting this here as well as the other letter.

  4. So very beautiful the words as well as the depth of concern, thank you for sharing the letter and the far past the connection that most humans encounter...and once again, you take my very breath away Wayne in your willingness to embrace and engage...on all levels.

  5. This is most certainly Nin. Rare is it to find an author whose fiction and non-fiction shares the same cadence.

    Written like a true daughter of Neptune. Thank you for sharing.