I want to spread myself on lots of paper, turn it into lots of sentences, lots of words so that I won't be walked on.- Anaïs Nin
Nin's Incest is an explosive, emotional confession; an illuminating self analysis and in-depth psychological study of her soul. Relentlessly probing and insightful, Nin details and analyzes dreams and daily events, shedding light on her exhaustive need for love, in part due to the vacuous hole in her psyche left by her father's abandonment of the family when she was still a very young girl. Nin bares naked the sexual and pathological desires not only of herself but of well-known figures to whom she had strong attachments - Henry Miller, Otto Rank, Antonin Artaud, René Allendy , among others - all who seem like father-figures themselves. To Nin, to experience love meant to keep a balance between her independence and interdependence, her singularity and dual nature. Her own assessment of her dual nature is explained with the precision of a professional psychologist, as she describes the controversial liaisons with her estranged father, Joaquin - a self styled Don Juan.
Joaquin: "I had a dream of you which frightened me. I dreamed that you masturbated me with jeweled fingers and that I kissed you like a lover. For the first time in my life I was terrified."
Anaïs: "I also had a dream of you."
"I don't feel toward you as if you were my daughter."
"I don't feel as if you were my Father."
"What a tragedy. What are we going to do about it? I have met the woman of my life, the ideal, and it is my daughter! I cannot even kiss you as I would like to. I'm in love with my own daughter!"
Nin's writing aesthetic is hypnotic: the unrestrained style in which she reports events have both dreamlike and authentic qualities: fantastic yet real, allusive as well as explicit. She dares to write about such tabooed feelings and acts never before printed in women's books. In heated episodes of seduction, she becomes the 'bad' girl her father desires - she becomes in effect his double, a Donna Juana.
"Let me kiss your mouth." He put his arms around me. I hesitated. I was tortured by a complexity of feelings, wanting his mouth, yet afraid, feeling I was to kiss a brother, yet tempted— terrified and desirous. I was taut. We kissed, and that kiss unleashed a wave of desire. I was lying across his body and with my breast I felt his desire, hard, palpitating.
Ecstatic, his face, and I now frenzied with the desire to unite with him ... undulating, caressing him, clinging to him. His spasm was tremendous, of his whole being. He emptied all of himself in me ... and my yielding was immense, with my whole being, with only that core of fear which arrested the supreme spasm in me.
Nin acknowledges that she tortuously embraced the role of seducer to her padre -amour in order in the end to hurt Joaquin. Incest is a salacious confession in which Nin has laid herself widely opened like French doors on the balcony of the world - and oh, what a view!
Relationship was impossible unless one gave the most secret and deepest part of oneself...
The diary is not a Recherche du Temps Perdu. It is actually a seeking to unite the past, the present, and the future. My life today is just as it was when I was writing the diary; it is always very full and very rich. I'm always exploring new realms of experience, I'm always curious, I'm always ready for adventure. - Anaïs Nin, A Woman Speaks.
Recommended to prudes and open minded alike.