The Diary of Anaïs Nin

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First editions

The Diary of Anaïs Nin is the published version of Anaïs Nin's own private manuscript diary, which she began at age 11 in 1914 during a trip from Europe to New York with her mother and two brothers. Anaïs Nin would later say she had begun the diary as a letter to her father, Cuban composer Joaquín Nin, who had abandoned the family a few years earlier.

Over the years, the diary would become Anaïs Nin's best friend and confidante. Despite the attempts of her mother, therapists Rene Allendy and Otto Rank, and writer Henry Miller, to break Anaïs Nin of her dependence on the diary, she would continue to keep a diary up until her death in 1977.

As early as the 1930s Anaïs Nin had sought to have the diary published. Due to its size (in 1966, the diary contained more than 15,000 typewritten pages in some 150 volumes) and literary style, she would not find a publisher until 1966, when the first volume of her diary would be published, covering the years 1931–1934 in her life. The published version of her diary would be very popular among young women, making Anaïs Nin a feminist icon in the 1960s. Six more volumes of her diary would follow.

Expurgated diaries[edit]

The series of published diaries that made their appearance starting in 1966 are now sometimes referred to as the "expurgated" editions. This is because in 1986, Rupert Pole, Anaïs Nin's widower and literary executor, began to publish what are now termed the "unexpurgated" versions of the diary. The "unexpurgated" versions of the diaries are more sexually frank than the versions published in the 1960s and 1970s. The expurgated editions were published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Volume I (1931–1934)[edit]

First published 1966, it depicts Anaïs Nin living in Louveciennes, just outside of Paris, with her husband, banker Hugh Parker Guiler. Guiler's name is not once mentioned in this volume. Volume One covers the most important years of her relationship with Henry Miller. She has just published her study of D. H. Lawrence. Many of the early entries deal with Henry and his fascinating wife June. She discusses her psychoanalytic sessions with Rene Allendy and Otto Rank at length. During this period, her father re-enters her life. By the end of this volume, Henry has published Tropic of Cancer and she has completed House of Incest (published, 1936) and Winter of Artifice (published 1939).

Volume II (1934-1939)[edit]

Volume III (1939-1944)[edit]

Volume IV (1944-1947)[edit]

Volume V (1947–1955)[edit]

Volume V was published in 1974, describes her first trip to Acapulco, the beginning of her double life in Sierra Madre, California as well as in New York, the death of her mother and the progress of her feelings and career. Her love life, including the existence of both her husbands is still deleted.

Volume VI (1955-1966)[edit]

Volume VI was published in 1976, and was edited by Gunther Stuhlmann. It was dedicated to the team of doctors who saved her life in January 1975. It opens with her description of the aftereffects of having taken LSD, and closes with her mentioning the publication of Volume I of her diaries and her belated recognition as a writer. Other subjects include a debate with Aldous Huxley over psychedelics, a visit to the Brussels World's Fair of 1958, and working as an editor for the magazine Eve. She was a witness to the Caresse Crosby incident at Delphi.[1]

Volume VII (1966-1974)[edit]


  1. ^ The Diary of Anaïs Nin: Volume VI 1955-1966, edited and with a preface by Gunther Stuhlmann. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (1976) ISBN 0-15-125594-6