Sunday, October 10, 2010

Letter from Anais Nin May 23 1972

When Anais was unable to fulfill her speaking and other assignments she often suggested that I go as a substitute. Some, of course, were understandably reluctant to accept this, but others listened to her, as when I stepped in to conduct a writing workshop at the Mann Ranch in California - I began recording tapes especially for her during this time - she loved Bach most - and Rupert built her a "music room" - he later let me know that it was as if I was in the room playing for her. I would like to hear these recordings again sometime-They are not in the archives at the UCLA Library since all that material is prior to 1965 - If anyone knows where they are, I would appreciate knowing.
The handwritten manuscript mentioned in this letter was a large portion of my "Chinese In Montana" novel, pages I never received back, and they, too, exist in some archive as yet unknown to me-at one point they were in the Brooklyn bank vault where the Diaries were stored, but that is all I know at this point. I'll have to re-construct them from memory, perhaps...."Ah life! It exceeded imagination." Thanks to Marguerite Young for that expressive summation.


  1. You are a constant source of inspiration and amazement to me. Are you going to write a book about your relationship with Anais?

  2. Does this mean you've lost access to your own entire manuscript? I can't even imagine, strange and ill fated.

    I have lost a few short pieces having moved so many times, but find when I write them anew they have a different flavor. The added experience woven through them gives dimension.

    The letter is beautifully luminous, honest, with her recognition of name dropping in education, but desire for deep knowledge (of you). Name dropping does mean something if it were a close friend or lover it says something of ones self.

    I love that you are sharing these, you are very brave I think.

  3. Anais' letters remind me of her book of short stories "Under the Glass Bell", she writes poetically, and by that I mean in a kind of breathy way, but with firm meaning. How lovely to have a stash of correspondence with her! And I also love how we hear the phantom of your voice in her letters, we don't know what you've said to her exactly, but she brings your voice into her letters, giving the impression of a conversation. Thank you for sharing these letters!

  4. Thank you Lillian.
    Anais believed that our letters should become a book. That is a recurring theme. Your response endorses her belief that we were writing of substantive matters which would allow others to feel a part of the conversation.
    I'll post more material now that I see others are responsive.
    Thank you.

  5. Jennifer-
    When I went to India for a year I sent the bulk of Anais's letters to me back to her for safe-keeping. She wrote to of exactly how she bound them in with her Diary pages which were in a Brooklyn Bank Vault at the time. Where they are today, I do not know. I do have a letter from Rupert Pole indicating that the letters are my property, but he is long since gone also from this world. So, they are "there" - Anais also bound my letters to her with the Diary.
    In time they will emerge, and I am sure they will be of some interest to readers when that occurs.
    Thank you for your kind responses.