I could eat that book up, page by page, painting my house the colors she painted hers, every room a different vivid color, or wearing a necklace as she did of blue glass stars. She name-drops continually in that journal, and through this I have discovered a world of other writers and artists, the writer Lawrence Durrell, for instance.
Unlike Anais, I would have lost patience with Henry Miller (and with June) in the first week. I would have stuck by my boring banker husband and confined my extramarital adventures to the nonsexual kind (But then how would Delta of Venus and Little Birds have ever gotten written?). And I would not have let my therapist feel me up.
But other than that, Anais' journal in the late 1930s is another work of art I could just climb right into.
For a time back in the '90s when I was still actively seeking my soulmate, I decided I wouldn't date anyone unless he had read Anais Nin. Soon, I realized if I held to this, I'd never have another date. So I deduced that Anais, in all her complexity, appeals to women mostly.
Here are a few things she said, in various contexts not necessarily her journals.
The Art of Writing
"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."
"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."Suffering
"Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat."Dogma
"When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. "Self-actualization
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."Friendship
"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."