Diary of Anais Nin, Volume 2: 1934-1939
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Beginning with Nin's arrival in New York, this volume is filled with the stories of her analytical patients. There is a shift in emphasis also as Nin becomes aware of the inevitable choice facing the artist in the modern world. "Sensitive and frank...[Nin's] diary is a dialogue between flesh and spirit" (Newsweek). Edited and with a Preface by Gunther Stuhlmann; Index.
Irony, mockery, ridicule freeze my blood. As if I witnessed a scene of sadism. I look for the exit, an excuse to escape. My malaise grows. My throat contracts and I can neither enjoy eating nor drinking. I want to leave. If everybody is drunk and venomous, the need to leave becomes imperative. I give inadequate excuses. Every minute I stay becomes a torment. I come home, angry at myself. I cut off the evening. I am not sure why. Good-bye, good-bye. I went to visit Waldo Frank. I noticed how
broken into the running pace of New York. I come back with relief to Louveciennes, after the café life, to a certain order and discipline in work, a certain seriousness which I conceal from the world. The world prefers clowning, jokes, and vaudeville shows. Henry is not concerned with insight. He is not troubled by paradoxes and inconsistencies. He accepts contradictions, irrationality and chaos. He is working on Capricorn. I asked Henry if he would like to visit Brancusi with me. He said no,
Jesuit's theory of self-chastisement?) He talks disconnectedly and feverishly, as June did. He says he is too old to live in an ordinary way, too old, too subtle, to reach directly for things. By his talk he leads me back into the medieval life of Peru, and at the same time he gives me Karl Marx to read, and explains the meaning of the strikes. He tells me that he came merely to rescue me from what was going to happen. The whole world was going to erupt. There would be a revolution in France.
finally the humor overwhelmed us all, and we all began to laugh; everyone laughed, including the old man. "Je ferais la mart" he said, and lay down and closed his eyes, docile, bewildered, and frightened. The policeman left, laughing. René went to bed, laughing. At the café one day, Gonzalo began to ask me questions about psychoanalysis, the great enemy of Marxism. I talked about Rank's ideas, in relation to Helba's neurosis. He said after a while: "I want to read those books." Then
to believe in because June's illusions were built on air. Mine were creative and real. I am not the illusionist at the fair, with only cardboard around and behind me, playing tricks. I am an illusionist with real power, the power to make things come true. I promised Henry he would not be a failure, that I would make the world listen to him, and I kept my promise. Much that I have wanted for myself did not come true, but I suppose the day the creator wants something for himself, his magic ends."