Collages
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Collages

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  469 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Collages explores a world of fantasy and dreams through an eccentric young painter. A radical work in its time (1964), Anais Nin dispensed with normal structural convention and allowed her characters to wander freely in space and time in an attempt to describe life with the disconnected clarity of a dream in which hip and freakish lives intersect or merge.

Perhaps reflectin...more
Paperback, 122 pages
Published January 1st 1964 by Swallow Press
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Samadrita
Anaïs Nin is my beloved witch, capable of making the nebulous frontiers between imagination and reality dissolve away into oblivion with one well-maneuvered flourish of her metaphorical pen, her personalized magic wand. Or I see her in my mind's eye, as a lovely but shabbily dressed seamstress, patiently weaving a patchwork quilt of exquisite beauty out of the gossamer strands of time.

Does art imitate life or does the opposite hold true?
Where does life begin? Where does it end? What lies in be...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
I'm going to be honest...I thought that this book would be heavily focused on the erotic. It is this assumption about Nin's subject matter that has prevented me from reading her before now. Not to say that I am opposed to sex, of course. I would just like to think that there are many more (ahem) stimulating subjects to explore through literature than how good Henry Miller was in the sack, or what it's like to fuck on a tricycle, or what roach motel has the cleanest sheets in Amsterdam, or precis...more
Rowena
The more I read Anais Nin's works, the more I appreciate her as a writer. This book introduces us to many very interesting characters a young girl meets on her travels. I love how Nin can turn a simple event into beautiful poetry, and also how differently she looks at different aspects of life.This is one of the kinds of books you will just want to read again and again to appreciate the beautiful prose.
woodfaeries
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
April
I love Nin. Her words drip like watercolours, humble but dazzlingly beautiful at the same time. They are becoming to read. Her ability to drag you into rich, textured worlds is both astounding and memorable. I adored most characters – one in particular being Bruce – and relished their stories, as well as finding the mentioning of Bruce’s Chinese box ‘solution’ charmingly apt, likening it to the feeling of the book's overall; the uncovering of little secrets or stories of characters hidden within...more
Ellie
I'm a big fan of Anais Nin, for reasons I can't quite define. I love her diaries, self-absorbed as they may be. As a young woman in my 20s they gave me a place to go, a community almost and guided my own journal writing. And I loved the world and the people I found there, reflected through Nin's vision and personality.
But I also loved her fiction, its oddness & quirky quality appealed to me-and still does. And perhaps the fact that her original language was French and not English adds to the...more
Sofia Jacinto
Im sure there's no book like this one! Im really happy i found it at the library and in english (I'm from Portugal)! This hauting book is made of a series of stories that don't exactly should go well, but they work together like a dream or an hallucination. It's wonderful how Anaïs show us the world of the painter, we travel with her in her wonderful adventures. The ending was terrific, i wasn't going to rate with 5 stars but as soon as i reach the end, i couldn't do otherwise. This book is amaz...more
Matt Amott
i really liked this book. it was buried in a box of books i had so i'm not too sure when i got it. i've always liked anais nin. almost like a beat before the beats. i'm a fan of her and henry miller. so open in their lives and writing about life and sex and the wonders of the world. it focuses on a young girl who travels the world with various people who open her eyes to many cultures. but then she stays at a malibu motel and she describes the many people that work there and that come and go fro...more
Kelly
Nov 27, 2009 Kelly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Anyone who is familiar with Nins work knows that her stories are slightly enhanced, fabricated and plumed reworkings of her true life experiences documented in her famous, or infamous, diaries.
Collages is no exception, and it truly lives up to its title. A number of small fables and stories about real people Nin met during her colorful life and their experiences in key dream-like sequences all combined together with delicate web-like connections make this a one of a kind read. A pleasure, to be...more
Tienlyn
tingley's machine that destroys himself is the story that i've read the most - i used to keep a dog-eared copy in my bag with me at all times until the front and back covers tore clean off. the book itself is a collage of individual consciousness' - the juxtaposition of her characters in various states of the psyche as well as physically and geographically, creates a new plane in which a unique dialog is formed between things that might have never before crossed paths.
Scott Sheaffer
Ninish in all aspects. While the collection of stories don't contain the erotica found in some of Nin's other works the erotic styling is all there. I love it when a series of short stories, when considered as a whole, are a story unto themselves. Don’t be shy, have a sip of colleges and allow yourself to imagine what life would be as Anaïs Nin.
Sian Lile-Pastore
I thought this was totally beautiful and fairy tale like and dreamy and wonderful. I liked it more when I read large parts of it all at once, it doesn't work as well if you just read a page or so at a time....
you should probably take a day off work and stay in bed and read it all at once.
jennifer garcia
I am in love with the way Nin uses words. Beautiful, captivating collection of stories, each interwoven with the next, yet also complete in itself. Every sentence is poetry.
Vicky
Opens with a scene of Vienna, so appropriate, so beautiful.
Renee
Oct 26, 2007 Renee rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Steph
It was candy.
Danielle Denise
This book is both simplistic and abstract; poetic and practical. I love how artistic this book is.
There, exists in 'Collages', a silver cords of consciousness that bind reader and characters together. I appreciate even more the indifference that accompanies the story line. She pulls us in enough to feel, and helps us to step back and breathe and reflect on the big picture. Anaiis Nin was brilliant, and still, beyond her time. The lesson, experience, encounter of the lead character, is timeless.
Niina Pollari
I have read Anais Nin before (parts of her Journals and some of her, ahem, notable erotica), and this "autobiographical novel" did not strike me as among her best. Nin seems in this book to be, overall, a rather self-conscious writer. I don't mean to imply that her sentences are clunky or awkward. Rather, I think I mean that irking feeling that something constantly reminds the reader that s/he is in fact reading something. Nin's prose flows, but it also knows that it is being watched, and so the...more
UptownSinclair
Nov 03, 2007 UptownSinclair rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Wandering Romantics
Anais Nin's "Collages" is exactly what it claims to be: a many snippets of a reality pulled together into one, nearly coherent whole.

The book, as I hasten to call it a novel, reads like part travel literature and part diary entry. Far from a page turner, I found that material read much more like a collection of short stories; something I could read in sections without much concern about what had transpired in the pages before. Many of the stories read like portraits of fellow travellers whose o...more
Bill Glover
Fun to read. I was thinking about what it was about the words she chooses. Ultimately its what she leaves out. This book is non-linear, which is good for Americans to be exposed to. It also contains zero bullshit. I would re-read this; maybe when its warmer out.
Miranda Metelski
"Animals never seen before, descendants of the unicorn, offered their heads to be cajoled. The vegetative patience of flowers was depicted like a group of twittering nuns, and it was the animals who had the eyes of crystal gazers while people's eyes seemed made of stalactites. Explosions of the myth, talkative garrulous streets, debauched winds, oracular moods of the sands, stasis of rocks, attrition of stones, acerose of leaves, excresence of hours, sibylline women with a faculty for osmosis, a...more
caracal-eyes
Not sure what happened here, where some characters came from or went or even exactly what their part was, but mostly I enjoyed it and had an idea of where I was, and the language itself could be just delicious, and the entire book was full of vivid colors, their sensations, like the inside of a kaleidoscope or indeed a collage. Not much plot or point really, but a collection of brightly patterned impressions of exotic cloth and spices, far-off countries and strange, idiosyncratic characters. Sho...more
Katie Clark-AlSadder
No, this book is not erotica, but you can tell from the lushly descriptive language why the author is the world's foremost writer of erotica. Even more than the language, the people whom Nin describes (her collages) are each beautiful and interesting, and leave you wishing you could close the book covers and step into the just one of the lives between.
Jenny
I wish I could have given this book 3 and a half stars. I loved the imagery of the writing. And the snippets had a short story feel to them. I am thankful for reviews from other friends so I knew what I was getting into with this book and could enjoy it for what it was and not expect a cohesive story.
Jen
“He feared she had the power to snap the cord which bound him securely to ordinary life,” she writes of a character. Anaïs Nin wields that power herself, transporting the reader to a bold and colorful world that is at once sensuous and mysterious, heartbreaking and magical.
mim
I picked this book out of the Little Free Library that I discovered recently. Since we'd read Under the Glass Bell, I was curious about her other writings. I like this little book very much. It was like reading the short stories but they were connected in a very fluid way.
Megan
December 2013 Bookclub

Collages is simply snippets of a woman's life hence the title collages. While not a bad book, it had no story line to follow. Each chapter is completely unrelated to the one before, but without the feeling of a book of short stories.
Kimm
I'll give this one three stars. No flow, no story, but I loved some of the descriptions. Nin is a master of descriptions, even though (so far) I'm not really a "fan." Definitely good descriptions.
Xian
The vignettes (like the title says) are nice but without an overall plot (each of them barely had a plot on their own) the thing as a whole really had trouble holding my interest.
Jerman
A nice loop of a novel that ends as it begins. Celebratory of creatives and their upward battle to gain enough funds to execute a collective project.
Kym
A portrait of bohemian life through Anais' bohemian travelled eyes. Full of characters you'd want to be or know.
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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
More about Anaïs Nin...
Delta of Venus Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love"--The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin (1931-1932) Little Birds The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934 A Spy in the House of Love

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“It is my secrecy which makes you unhappy, my evasions, my silences. And so I have found a solution. Whenever you get desperate with my mysteries, my ambiguities, here is a set of Chinese puzzle boxes. You have always said that I was myself a Chinese puzzle box. When you are in the mood and I baffle your love of confidences, your love of openness, your love of sharing experiences, then open one of the boxes. And in it you will find a story, a story about me and my life. Do you like this idea? Do you think it will help us to live together?” 56 likes
“Die Vergangenheit war wie jene altmodischen, mit Kräutern und Blumen gefüllten Duftkissen, deren Aroma die Kleider durchdringt und an ihnen haften bleibt.” 2 likes
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