What do they say about pretty words strung together into passages pregnant with symbolism and implications, some of them beyond the grasp of a dilettante like me? How do they compartmentalize Anaïs Nin's writing? 'Erotica'
they like to call it, perhaps, putting focus on the sexual imagery Nin invokes with the flair of her pen.
But I would rather not enclose Nin's genius inside the banal prison of a genre like erotica. Her words, like splotches of the most exotic water color, coalesce into an abstract painting of such acute beauty that one can only stare at the phantasmagorical picture that forms in front of the mind's eye, with a deep sense of wonderment.
Her words are magic. Her words instill life into the seemingly lifeless form of a road stretching ahead. Her words transform a taboo subject like incest into a fathomable, even an acceptable reality of our existence and temporarily divorce us from the social conventions, of the material world, as we know them. Her words whisk us away to a secluded, floating world where only surreal landscapes of Nin's imagination sprawl far and wide in all their majestic splendour. And the reader can only be a besotted traveller enjoying a one-of-a-kind sojourn - soaking up all the incomprehensible loveliness of Nin's prose in small bursts.
"I felt only the caress of moving - moving into the body of another - absorbed and lost within the flesh of another lulled by the rythm of water, the slow palpitation of the senses, the movement of silk..
Loving without knowingness, moving without effort, in the soft current of water and desire, breathing in an ecstasy of dissolution.
I awoke at dawn, thrown up on a rock, the skeleton of a ship choked in its own sails."
Her words accord a kind of literary immortality to so many hackneyed humane emotions and sentiments.
"But Jeanne, fear of madness, only the fear of madness will drive us out of the precincts of our solitude, out of the sacredness of our solitude. The fear of madness will burn down the walls of our secret house and send us out into the world seeking warm contact. Worlds self-made and self-nourished are so full of ghosts and monsters."
Her words are exquisite poetry.
I do understand why Rowena and Lynne kept recommending Anaïs Nin to me. I'll now begin the quest of procuring all her published writings.