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Anais Nin

  • American author
  • Born February 21, 1903
  • Died January 14, 1977

Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell (February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977), known professionally as Anaïs Nin (), was a French-American diarist, essayist, novelist, and writer of short stories and erotica. Born to Cuban parents in France, Nin was the daughter of composer Joaquín Nin and Rosa Culmell, a classically trained singer. Nin spent her early years in Spain and Cuba, about sixteen years in Paris (1924–1940), and the remaining half of her life in the United States, where she became an established author.


There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.




It's all right for a woman to be, above all, human. I am a woman first of all.




The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.




I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.




Truth is something which can't be told in a few words. Those who simplify the universe only reduce the expansion of its meaning.




A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked.




The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle.




It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.




Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.




Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together.




If all of us acted in unison as I act individually there would be no wars and no poverty. I have made myself personally responsible for the fate of every human being who has come my way.




People living deeply have no fear of death.

People living deeply have no fear of death.




We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.

We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.




Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.

Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.




My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.




Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.




I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.

I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.




Anxiety is love's greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.




Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.




The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself.




There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.




I will not be just a tourist in the world of images, just watching images passing by which I cannot live in, make love to, possess as permanent sources of joy and ecstasy.




I stopped loving my father a long time ago. What remained was the slavery to a pattern.




Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat.




There are many ways to be free. One of them is to transcend reality by imagination, as I try to do.




If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.




When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others.




The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.




Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.




Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.




Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.




The human father has to be confronted and recognized as human, as man who created a child and then, by his absence, left the child fatherless and then Godless.




What I cannot love, I overlook. Is that real friendship?




Do not seek the because - in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.




Living never wore one out so much as the effort not to live.




The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.



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