You imagined, you invented.

Shoes: neosens
Socks: asos.com
Everything else: second hand

I’m currently reading Anaïs Nin’s journals and after being a bit sceptic at first, I am becoming increasingly intrigued by Nin. Her writing sometimes seemed overly embellished (though that’s not the right word, maybe ‘pretty’ is?) and occasionally false to me, but after fifty odd pages I started realising that’s exactly what typifies Anaïs Nin’s character, she wants to please so much. She does it by sensuous movements, luscious perfumes and beautiful dresses, gloves, hats, shoes… She seduces and so do her words. Her writing style echoes her person, or rather the persona she has created, which cracks sometimes and shows her unbelievable emotional sensitivity and eventually her own insecurities.

In the book, she meets June Miller who comes up with elaborate lies about everything, Anaïs gets intrigued first by her beauty then why June lies so much. She realises that June lies to veil her extreme sensitivity, she does it because she lives in her own dreams. They bond. They even seem in love, but it’s not a sexual love (though it is sensual) it’s a womanly admiring love (my favourite), an extremely sensitive love. Every touch, a little movement at the corner of their mouth, all little winces they seem to grasp immediately of another. They laugh with Henry Miller’s emotional insensitivity. Reading this, it makes me feel obtuse for not being so sensitive to people’s emotional expression, and ultimately sad for not being like them. It sounds so beautiful. I’m only 100 pages in.

But I guess what makes attracts me so much to Anaïs is that her dream-like state mirrors my own, and this sentiment:

I have always been tormented by the image of multiplicity of selves. Some days I call it richness, and other days I see it as a disease, a proliferation as dangerous as cancer. My first concept about people around me was that all of them were coordinated into a WHOLE, whereas I was made up of a multitude of selves, of fragments.

Regarding clothing I definitely feel the same, I’m unsure whether I feel the same for my personality as well but maybe my doubting of that same sentiment might mean that I maybe I do, but maybe I don’t. Maybe this maybying signifies exactly that I do. Maybe it doesn’t. But it definitely intrigues me.

Anyway, I unconsciously matched my outfit with the book cover (yellow, pink).

13 Comments

  • I’ve been obsessed with Anais Nin’s journals for years now! I agree that her words are very seductive; to me, there is a strange sense of “false honesty” in the way she writes. You can never really be certain if she’s writing a journal at all, or if it’s all for show. Even if the journals are heavily edited, there is something raw there, a mirror of a woman who was never quite sure who she really was, and who probably had had a dose too much of psychoanalysis. Compared to Nin’s other literary “products”, the journals are really in a league of their own, which makes me think that they are as “real” as anything she was capable of putting on paper.

    As for fragmentation of self, I think we all struggle with that to some extent. We are complex, much more complex than we think, but we aim for simplicity because simplicity is easier to control. There is potential in all of us to be something else than what we are today, to be torn, cold, perverse, and Nin must have been aware of that, especially considering the people she spent her time with, Henry in particular. But indeed, the journals are fascinating! Keep reading!

    • Yes exactly! When I was reading some of her short stories I felt the same and didn’t think her a truly amazing/competent writer but now I understand, I’m fascinated by it and can definitely feel an obsession coming up.

      I agree about the fragments of self but I guess I’ve just never seen in that way? I see those fragments as a whole, and can never ever see a personality (whether my own or someone else’s) as a stattic and consistent whole to me it’s a fluid thing in constant change, it’s a very natural thing to be so too. So in that sense I don’t really know where I stand regarding that quote.

  • Your blog is so refreshing, thank you for writing about books! And so well!
    I have to reread the Nin book I have and look for her journals, your decription of the longing to belong among them really makes me want to look into her life more.

    I’ve been trying to come up with a way of incorporating book reviews into my blog and came up with something similar – dressing for the cover or for the atmosphere of the book. Now it will seem like I’ve copied you but I swear I only just found your blog. 🙂

    • Haha, it’s completely accidental though! I just picked up my book to read and realised I’d unconsciously sort of matched my outfit and since I had these things in my head I decided to write them down here ^_^

  • I love to read, and I like writing about the books I am reading (in spanish though), but I have trouble explaining the feeling I get from them. But you do it in a beautiful way, so clear and so insightful, thank you for sharing, Anais nin has always been in my book wishlist, but you definitely made me want to read it more. Thank you! (Your blog is very cute by the way)

  • Multiple personas/selves have always fascinated me. I may have to read this for that reason alone. Awesome pink/yellow combo. Love the knee highs! 😉

  • Her journals sound fascinating. I started a book club this summer and perhaps these would make for a good read…i wonder. I completely relate to the fragments in personality especially when we are young and still discovering ourselves (i think this is something that never really ends…just sort of slows as we grow older) but as for my wardrobe…um, yes, totally, and completely. o_o

    • Oh yes, it’s about seven volumes long though, but maybe you could just do the first volume? But you could talk about the multiple personas thing, Anaïs’ love for fashion, identity, being a woman in that time etc. etc. there’s so much good things going on which would all make for superb discussion material!

  • How cute are you? I love love the socks. I’ve always felt like I have been made up of many different versions of myself, especially in relation to clothes.

  • The way you’ve managed to sum up Nin’s writing rings very true for me. Her prose is unbelievably flowery and overt and almost gushing or.. desperate? Is that the word? At first I was unsure but then I realised that her work epitomises what I’m feeling when I’M behaving like that and I’m in the throws of mad, pointless passion that’s probably going nowhere..

    I have an Anais Nin tattoo on my hip 🙂

Leave a Reply to enterrement de vie de jeune fille Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.