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Delta of Venus

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,248 Ratings  ·  750 Reviews
In Delta of Venus Anaïs Nin penned a lush, magical world where the characters of her imagination possess the most universal of desires and exceptional of talents. Among these provocative stories, a Hungarian adventurer seduces wealthy women then vanishes with their money; a veiled woman selects strangers from a chic restaurant for private trysts; and a Parisian hatmaker na ...more
Hardcover, BCE edition , 238 pages
Published 1977 by W H Allen
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Dec 01, 2007 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was first introduced to Anais Nin by my boyfriend, who bought me a first edition of Little Birds on Valentines Day a couple of years ago. I was surprised to discover that it wasn't raunchy or esoteric at all, but very accessible, very beautiful, and (naturally) very sensual. At an estate sale recently I came across Delta of Venus and picked it up partly out of interest in Nin's writing and partly because it was a vintage book and I love vintage books. Delta of Venus is far sexier than Little B ...more

Let's get one thing straight. This is erotica. Erotica erotica erotica erotica erotica. You know that phenomenon when you say something so many times that it temporarily loses its meaning? Firstly, it's a psychological phenomenon known as semantic satiation. Secondly, that's what I'm trying to do here with the word 'erotica'. Erotica erotica erotica erotica erotica. Run through that a few more times if you haven't sufficiently stripped yourself of assumptions, contextual peripheries, and al
I was rereading bits of this last night after seeing several one- or two-star reviews of it pop up in my feed recently. And scanning through some of the other GR reviews here, there's a lot of people objecting that it's ‘icky’ – one reviewer lists all the things that feature in Delta, things like incest, rape, paedophilia, and then just says, ‘Ew, right?’

WELL NO NOT EW ACTUALLY. I mean yes, ew, if you like, of course a lot of these things may not be very appealing depending on your tastes, but m
Feb 20, 2009 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amanda by: I first heard of Anais Nin in a de Lint novel, Memory and Dream
I think you have to be a little on the sick and twisted to get off on this book. Well, parts of it. Here are some examples of the icky ickiness Anais Nin writes about in Delta of Venus.

-Dude lays in bed early in the morning, and some kids who live in the house come in and horse play around his room. He gets a hard on and encourages them to frolic about on top of the covers.
-Same dude, decades later, takes custody of his teenage son and daughter. Then he fucks 'em.
-A different dude burns some lad
Paul Bryant


- Hi there… my name’s Anais, what’s yours?

- Oh, er… hi Anais! My name’s Pau---- Manny. My name is Manny.

- Hi Manny. How are you tonight?

- Oh I'm fine thank you. Er.... you have a great laptop there.

- Why thank you! It’s a Lenovo Ideapad. Do you think it looks cute?

- Oh…yes.

- You should see the things I can do with it.

- Mm hmmm.

- What would you like to see me do Manny? Would you like to see me … type? Or…correct a manuscript? Do you want me to call my publisher? I can complain abou
Jan 05, 2015 Hadrian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french, fiction
What is the difference between porn and erotica? Somebody much wittier than me said it was the lighting, but I honestly don't know.
May 03, 2007 Blanca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: vintage erotica appreciaters
Over a period of years, I tried to find what I could appreciate about Nin's writing. Sure, it was groundbreaking at the time it was written and critically, I guess that's important.

It's pretty silly. I imagine college girls trying to copy Dita Von Teese's style read this in a dressing gown, drinking wine on some Urban Outfitters' silk bedspread before going out. That is enough to make me dislike it.
A broke Anais Nin wrote porn at a dollar a page for an unknown collector who kept telling her to write less literary crap, more of the in and out. Which infuriated her, because she thought he was destroying everything interesting about sex. Which is basically the same debate people are having today about internet porn.

And she keeps punishing him for it. In one story a woman has an erotic opium experience, and it's pretty hot I guess, and then suddenly it's like (view spoiler)
Ian GalaDali
Less Poetry!

Most of the stories in "Delta of Venus" were written under a quasi-Oulipean constraint: they were commissioned by a collector of erotica who specified, "Concentrate on sex. Leave out the poetry."

Anais Nin initially complied. However, "I began to write tongue-in-cheek, to become outlandish, inventive, and so exaggerated that I thought he would realise I was caricaturing sexuality."

Back came the response, "Less poetry." The collector was looking for explicit, clinically precise descrip
Oct 31, 2014 Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to try Erotica
The first erotica I read, and probably the last, because I can't imagine liking anything else as much I liked this. Well, except maybe more Anais Nin.

I read it one summer during high school after discovering it in our guestroom closet. I hid the book in my pillowcase so that my mother wouldn't see me reading it. I went through it in about 3 days, and continually revisit it when I'm feeling particularly saucy.

It's basically a series of short stories focusing around sexual perversions and explorat
The following review contains little spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin is a collection of erotic short stories. Seriously amazing short stories. I haven't technically "read" this book since I keep it on my bedside table and take little nibbles of it when I feel like it. I might reread some stories or skip ones altogether. Therefore, I'm going to be rating the stories individually.

The Hungarian Adventurer:

This one is disgusting. Rouging your vagina is one thing. Raping
What is, indeed, being “erotic”? Wherein lays its essence? Does it even have an essence, or a formula that one can follow and therefore achieve “eroticism”? Is it confined only to the feminine? Is age of any importance when it comes to it? Is there a difference between “erotic” and “sexual”? Are these two irrevocably intertwined? Is it the mind that is aroused, or the body? Can you achieve “eroticism” purely by matter of perception? What is considered erotic by an individual, and how has that be ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 23, 2014 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2012)
Honestly? I liked this book. It is erotica but it is classic and I love everything that have been written so many years ago when I wasn't born yet and people still devour them like they were recently published.

It's just that don't read this book straight in just few days. It could be numbing and lose its meaning. You see, the book is composed of short stories about sexual encounters and Anais Nin made sure that each story is different from the others by delving into different sexual subjects, mo
Feb 27, 2013 Leisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite, i-desire

I read this book while my heart was breaking in the Spring of 2009; stubborn & resistant to change, this was exactly the medicine I needed to break all the way open. It wasn't until I felt Anaïs' voice echoing inside me that I truly understood & respected what it means to be feminine, to accept, to renew, to hold & nurture, to passionately let go, & in the process become what I always felt a woman should be; warm, dark, fathomless ocean. Having a naturally very dominant, fiery, m
Apr 14, 2016 Lydia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings about this one, like a lot of people.

On the one hand, it's Anaïs Nin, the one-woman powerhouse who wrote erotica in the 20th century. Erotica from a female perspective, which no one was doing at the time. On the other, reading it, it didn't always feel like her.

And I generally don't read books for the plot or the characters, I read it for the writing. So if it didn't feel like her, it just took me twice as long to read one story as it might've otherwise.

I realised, while r
Eslam Ahmed
Mar 07, 2016 Eslam Ahmed rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adults
قفلتها ف الصفحة الـ 20
حاجة قذرة ...
Apr 16, 2015 Joyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: erotica, reviewed
The people I follow on tumblr seem to absolutely adore Anais Nin and they have reblogged or posted some very choice quotes and excerpts from her writing that made me give into curiosity and borrow some of her works from the library.

A few other times when I’ve tried erotic fiction I end up laughing because the writing is just so cheesy and phrases are so overused; but I don’t think I once laughed in ridiculousness when I read this book. My cheeks flushed regularly going through the book though,
Anais Nin and a few of her writer friends were asked by an anonymous wealthy collector to write a series of Erotic short stories for $1.00 per page for his pleasure. However the collector was specific in the kind of erotica he wanted. Anais was to omit any warmth, emotion or poetry to her writing and only concentrate on the sex.

Even though these restrictions were in place I don’t think I’ve ever read erotica so well written, it was polished, bold and wildly daring. She covers a range of sexual f
Anaïs Nin's Delta of Venus was published posthumously in 1977, but was largely written in the 1940s. It contains 15 short erotica stories, all of which were written for a private "collector". And it is what it is really, a mixture of stories from various character viewpoints, some of which tie in with each other, detailing a variety of sexual encounters, passions and desires.

The one thing about erotica is that you can't really read too much of it, because it just gets boring after a while - prob
Feb 07, 2008 L.A.Weekly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hammer Presents readings by Anais Nin - Feb. 12
By Rena Kosnett

Anais Nin would have been 105 this year, and if all the hype is anywhere near accurate, she probably would still be fucking. Every time I overhear or participate in discussions involving Nin, the conversation inevitably turns smutty. Granted, she did submit herself as a cultural galvanizer of female sexual liberation at a time in Europe when there was very little female-authored erotica available; but I've always believed that those d
Regina Andreassen
Jul 27, 2012 Regina Andreassen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Erotica is one thing that I appreciate and enjoy, but necrophilia, pedophilia, sadism (you don't burn someone's is NOT OK), and so forth, is a different thing. I don't think the book is beautifully written either, and it is not creative at all. Clearly, Anais Nin tried to be original and perhaps that is why she felt the need to go that far; well, perhaps that should have been expected if we remember that she had an incestuous relationship with her dad, and was married to two guys a
So I'd like to justify the two stars by firstly saying that I in no way found this 'ok.' (In. No. Way). I'd just hate to give it one, given the eloquence of Nin's writing. It'd be brutal to shred it completely.
Nin is masterful, stylish and even tantalising with her pen. The passages are strikingly exuberant in feel. Ethereal, almost. There's an almost unbelievably aesthetic feel to the book as a whole, so much so that it feels like the stories themselves are quite veiled, which is a peculiarly
Astrid Reza
Aug 21, 2007 Astrid Reza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-book-shelf
I had to make this book one of my must-have-list-of-book. So far it’s the best erotica literary writings I ever read. It literally makes you wet yourself. What really intriguing is what Anais explain in her preface (which adapted from her diaries). Doing it for a dollar a page, which apparently create one of her best collections of erotic stories. She needed the money to pay her and her friends living expenses, which she described that “Everyone around me irresponsible, unconscious of the shipwr ...more
Victoria Price
Jan 06, 2014 Victoria Price rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, erotica
If you desire the most sensual, erotic but bold collection of stories, Anais Nin is your lady. Her ability to be explicit in content but deeply beautiful in delivery is as close to perfection as one could want. Forget 'Fifty shades', this is the best kind of bedroom inspiration.
Feb 14, 2008 Suzanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book is super hot. Didn't realize it was all erotica till i cracked it open on the plane ride home from France. Felt a little warm under the collar for the whole ride ;)

Deals with some scandalous themes. Incest, necrophilia, pedophilia, rape, bestiality, voyeurism, exhibitionism, some low key BDSM, homosexuality, etc etc. Not quite the abundance of themes you might find on the interwebs, but markedly better written than most of what you'd find there. Even if the thing she is writing about w
Written in the 1940's, but not published until 1977, after Nin's death. It's erotica, 1940's style, not as salacious as what we find today, (Fifty Shades of Grey). But there were a few parts in a few of the stories that were a little much. Nin was writing erotica for a dollar per page just to get by, and she was adding a little more style and flourish than her buyers were looking for. But that's what set her stories apart from other writers, and why they are still of interest to readers today.

Mar 12, 2016 Anuradha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anuradha by: Juhi
This was profoundly disappointing. Is this the same Anais Nin who penned the masterpiece that is 'House of Incest'? I did read the preface; I do know why this isn't as wonderfully sublime as the former, but still, this was so, so disappointing. Review to come.
Mar 02, 2015 Morgan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you want to read this book be aware this is very explicit with sex. For me it's not a bad thing at all, but for some this book might get very uncomfortable. It very much fits into the erotica category. At the same time this is a really good book. Anaïs Nin is not the greatest writer when it comes to fiction, but she is one of the best to have a very open mind. This book shows that she will write just about anything.

Her first book I read (The Spy in the House of Love) I didn't like as much as
Nov 22, 2007 A.K. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: s-e-x
Tee hee.
Jun 15, 2014 Beatriz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No suelo leer muchos libros de relatos porque me fastidia que unos sean más largos que otros (por norma general me suelen gustar los cortos, los largos me dan pereza). Pero este libro me ha encantado. La mayoría de la "erótica" (no merece ni llamarse así) que yo he leído es "Cincuenta sombras de Grey" y sucedáneos con la misma "calidad" (mierdas machistas, por norma general).

Este libro ha sido una bocanada de aire fresco en mi estantería. Aunque son relatos cortos, la psicología de los personaj
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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...

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“Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.” 438 likes
“He was now in that state of fire that she loved. She wanted to be burnt.” 383 likes
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