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The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 2: 1934-1939 (The Diary of Anaïs Nin #2)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  2,082 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
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.
Paperback, 372 pages
Published March 25th 1970 by Mariner Books (first published 1967)
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David R i started with "The Anais Nin Reader." If you read my review, I give a small direction as to what order i would read what is in the book.
From there,…more
i started with "The Anais Nin Reader." If you read my review, I give a small direction as to what order i would read what is in the book.
From there, you decide. You can read her fiction or the diary. I found, for instance, she talked about "Winter of Artifice" a lot in vol. 1 of her diary and "House of Incest" in vol. 2. Now I want to read those before I go much further on in her diaries.

Hope that helps.(less)
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García MárquezRosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom StoppardRosemary's Baby by Ira LevinThe Chosen by Chaim PotokNicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie
Best Books of 1967
20th out of 100 books — 38 voters
Quiet by Susan CainThe Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'EngleThe Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Books for the INFJ
221st out of 244 books — 129 voters

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Community Reviews

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Sep 27, 2013 Rowena rated it really liked it
"Writing more and more to the sound of music, writing more and more like music. Sitting in my studio tonight, playing record after record, writing, music, a stimulant of the highest order, far more potent than wine. In the interior monologue there is no punctuation. James Joyce was right. It flows like a river.” — The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. Two

I loved Anais Nin’s first diary and I enjoyed this one too. Yes, she’s extremely self-absorbed and it does get a bit trying reading about how great pe
Feb 20, 2012 Janet rated it it was amazing
New York and Paris. Gonzalo the hunky Spaniard--guitarist, revolutionary, gigolo--and his awful crippled wife, who move in with Anais on the houseboat in the Seine (not a spoiler!) The Spanish Civil war. The end of Anais and Henry. The advent of the outrageously young, the dizzily intelligent Laurence Durrell. The visit to Fez and the publication of House of Incest. Oh, the older I get, the better these Diaries are--now that I've heard of Brassai and Artaud and James Laughlin the publisher, I've ...more
Dec 11, 2008 Ciara rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: diarists, world war two buffs, sad europeans, psych nerds
the thing about anais nin's diaries is that they are all drawn from a much larger work--that of nin's life-long diaries. so each volume is just an excerpt, & as such, it's not like one volume really stands out thematically from the pack that much. history/politics-wise, i think this is the one where the going is getting rough in europe, & world war two is about to get started. nin is participating a lot in cafe/salon culture, making friends with various artists, reading manuscripts, ...more
Apr 11, 2008 Michelle rated it it was amazing
The book falls apart in my hands. Its as if no one has read it for 40 years. The pages have turned yellow brown with age and stiffened with coldness. It’s brittle and frozen. It comes undone in my hands as if the sheer touch of it is too much to handle. It is overwhelmed. Has it waited out death for 4o years to die in warmth? But I cannot allow this. I will not aid in the murdering of something once so beautiful and filled with a thousand lives. The pages fall off like the hair of a chemo ...more
Shasta McBride
Jun 30, 2009 Shasta McBride rated it liked it
Recommends it for: heady women who think about what others are thinking maybe a little too much
Recommended to Shasta by: ze world.
I completely fell in love with Anais Nin and gobbled up her first three diaries. And then, just like that, I saw the movie Henry and June a few weeks ago, and, well, her Diaries were off-loaded to the guy at the Goodwill Donation center this past weekend (along with All the Sad, Young Literary Men, Then We Came To The End, and How to Lose Friends and Alienate People).

How could I fall so hard and then feel so duped? I don't know. What does that say about moi? I don't know. I think what got to me
Aug 11, 2012 Cameron rated it liked it
For some reason I enjoy "hanging out" with Anais during the summer. So to keep in form, I read Diary 2. Not as good as the first, I still enjoyed her artistic writing style (even the mundane is viwed as art) and her colorful life. It is hard to imagine doing some of the impulsive things she does (e.g. leaving her home to purchase a riverboat, etc). In addition she continue to play the "savior" role for people around her, often at the expense of her own physical comfort. These types of ...more
May 15, 2007 Legion rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Any intelligent person
Rather than talk about what I learned, I just wanted to warn people that before buying these books they should check to see whether it is the "censored" or "unexpurgated" version. I didn't know and bought 3 "censored" volumes (this was because people she mentioned were still living at the time of publication. Republishing was the full version. These are still worth reading if you can find the uncensored ones...
Emily Gallagher
Sep 03, 2007 Emily Gallagher rated it really liked it
This ought to be read in the fall, sitting on a bench in Thompkins Square Park (in the East Village), while sipping on an Americano from 9th Street Espresso. Ideally you'll be resting your feet on a skateboard. Or maybe that's just me.
Ximena López Arias
Poca objetividad con esta escritora, al menos 10 estrellas. Su erótica pluma es una de las más bellas de todos los tiempos! La epoca en la que vivió fue también muy prolífica y estimulante, fue amiga de pintores, dramaturgos, escritores, bailarinas, psicoanalistas, entre ellos Artaud y Miller, dos hermosos monstruos!
There are a lot of thoughts in this diary that I loved, and those gems made this book well worthwhile. However, I found I lacked interest in her life, and this being a diary, there were a lot of entries about her problems mothering her friends with their various problems and vices. It was a struggle for me to finish this, but I did enjoy her insights.
May 14, 2008 Linda rated it it was ok
Knowing about the life of Anais Nin, I can only regard this work as utter fiction. Her adolescent and arrogant delusions are at times amusing, other times embarrassing. Yet there is something interesting.....
Catherine Corman
Aug 20, 2011 Catherine Corman rated it liked it
I spread out on my bed all the gifts I brought from New York. A set of wooden dishes with astrologic symbols against blue-painted edges. We will have a dinner and invite Antonin Artaud.

-Anais Nin, The Diary of Anais Nin
Dec 04, 2008 finn rated it really liked it
giving this four stars even though i found all her ruminations on the differences between women & men annoying. not sure if i overlooked that in the first volume or if it was heavier in this one. anyway, her writing is magic & reading the diaries always inspires me to write more in mine.
underwhelming. nice writing at times but she doesnt seem like a particularly insightful, intelligent or interesting individual tbh
Jun 21, 2011 Jocelyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
had the whole set and read them all at 17 or 18. Enthralled then, would probably be less enthralled and more irritated were I to read them now.
Jul 10, 2012 Gwen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jul 24, 2014 Vicky rated it it was amazing
Nearly breathless, I will write something in here soon.
Karen Aleta
Jul 24, 2012 Karen Aleta rated it really liked it
Read all about her affair with Henry Miller.
Maggie Ferguson
"When the real self is born, the ego vanishes."
"Hostility is jealousy. Destructiveness is a sign of impotence."
"A human writer realizes that other human beings may be victims like himself and he should write with them against the aggressor, not become one."
"Women will be the last one on earth to learn independence, to find strength in herself."
"As a writer I believe language has power."
poetic illumination of life = love of life, lonely in a world of ideas, sadism = judgement of others
Nov 20, 2016 anna rated it it was amazing
"By being alive I mean living out of all the cells all the parts of one's self."
My two worlds intersect: my love for Anais and for Django united on page 105 of this volume. "Between the shocks are gypsy carts overflowing with big families. among there was a pretty red-and-black house, a toy -size house with a miniature garden, enclosed by a fence. In the garden grew giant sunflowers, and it was filled With pigeons, birds in cages, dives. This was the house of Django, the guitarist, whom Django k
Tikay Hill
Aug 15, 2012 Tikay Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A favorite author, if you like memoir, this woman had the mind of a poet...she is said to have embellished some things, or lied outright in some of her diaries...but everything, and no one can take away a persons belief and one's belief is one's reality, now, isn't it?
Therefore ...if she believed her so called lies...then they were hers to believe. And if her truth was not so true for the next person, it was still her way of seeing and believeing so...or perhaps she wasn't lyin
Natalia Borisova
When I ordered this book I thought it was the Unexpurgated Diary, with all the eroticism and sensual adventures of Anais. Unfortunately, the diary was censored and din't contain any word about Anais' love life. Henry Miller is different from the time of love affair with Anais, he grew older, became calmer, didn't search for cunts so badly, started to be interested in Buddhism. It is not the Henry Anais was in love with. That's why she found Gonzalo - a new asshole to fall in love with, obsessed ...more
Patrick Gibson
Feb 27, 2015 Patrick Gibson rated it really liked it
Found the first two volumes in a box from the college days.
Re-reading has been a total pleasure.
If you aren't familiar with Ms. Nin, here my lazy way to comment:
Wikipedia entry-- "Anaïs Nin's most important works, in the judgment of both herself and scholars, are her diaries or journals. The journals, which span several decades, provide a deeply explorative insight into her personal life and relationships. Nin was acquainted, often quite intimately, with a number of prominent authors, artists
Jul 06, 2010 Poupeh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On so many instances, it was like reading my own thoughts on the page.
I loved the thoughts, the questions, the self-diggings, the observations, and the words and sentences that carried those to the page ...

Does this mean that an Iranian woman is having the same thoughts and concerns of a western woman but half a century later? or do western women still have the same thoughts and concerns today as Nin's, feeling connected to her diary as strong as before, which will lead to the idea that literatu
Aug 28, 2016 Marna rated it it was ok
I do not remember this one as well as volume I. Will have to start collecting these so I can read all of them. (What can I say - as a Millennial, over-the-top narcissism really appeals to me. Too bad she wasn't born in the eighties when she also wouldn't have had to end up dying from a series of unsafe, illegal abortions).

One time, I thought I saw her - during tour season - walking in the street, and I was never quite able to shake the certainty that it really was, in fact, her.
Nicholas Schwarzenberger
Jun 14, 2013 Nicholas Schwarzenberger rated it really liked it
My only beef is that it drug a little in the third quarter, but goddamn, does it end strong in the last section. Whoever edited this so that it would end in the beginning of WW2 in an emaciated Paris was brilliant. As you draw closer and closer to the end, you get this sense of decay and Anais trying to orient herself in relation to this decay. It's incredibly moving.

As always, the book itself brims with passages begging to be quoted. Fantastic.
David R
Jun 17, 2016 David R rated it it was amazing
in all honesty, i loved this volume more than the first volume. even though it took me longer to read. the coming world war, the rise of facism, the spanish civil war, nin's houseboat, her maid the was all mesmerizing. i get lost in Nin's language, sometimes not caring what is going on....i just love what she had to say. it is like an early liz phair song, like "Dance of the 7 veils"....sometimes i have no idea what the meaning is, i only know it made me feel something.
Inégal. Toujours intéressant de constater que la majorité des personnalités artistiques connues de leur temps n'étaient que des êtres humains comme les autres, avec trés souvent des difficultés beaucoup plus grandes à vivre la vie que l'humble commun des mortels. Il en ressort que la majorité de leur production artistique, accouchée à coup de psychotropes, n'est que verbiage futile et au fond expression de mals-êtres puérils.. M'aura tout de même donné envie de lire Proust
"there is not one big cosmic meaning
for all, there is only the meaning we each
give our life, an individual meaning,
an individual plot, like an individual novel,
a book for each person."
Dawn Garcia
Oct 12, 2015 Dawn Garcia rated it it was amazing
She is my inspiration and these are books I continually reference when I need to be reminded of why writing is my soul ...
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French-born novelist, passionate eroticist and short story writer, who gained international fame with her journals. Spanning the years from 1931 to 1974, they give an account of one woman's voyage of self-discovery. "It's all right for a woman to be, above all, human. I am a woman first of all." (from The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. I, 1966)

Anaïs Nin was largely ignored until the 1960s. Today she is
More about Anaïs Nin...

Other Books in the Series

The Diary of Anaïs Nin (7 books)
  • The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934
  • The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 3: 1939-1944
  • The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 4: 1944-1947
  • The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 5: 1947-1955
  • The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 6: 1955-1966
  • The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 7: 1966-1974

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“Nature forms us for ourselves, not for others; to be, not to seem.” 83 likes
“Three or four threads may be agitated, like telegraph wires, at the same time, and if I were to tap them all I would reveal such a mixture of innocence and duplicity, generosity and calculation, fear and courage, I cannot tell the whole truth simply because I would have to write four journals at once.” 30 likes
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