Rachel Denham's Reviews > The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934

The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1 by Anaïs Nin
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's review
Jan 02, 2008

really liked it
Read in January, 2008

Nin's writing style alone deserves 5 stars. I'm only giving 4 stars, however, because of the blatant editing of the diaries. The introduction states that around 50% of her writing was taken out altogether. It made me wonder what exactly was taken out, and what kind of "truth" evoles from this abridgment (the irony is that Nin struggles with her own "truth" throughout the diary.) The diary has to be read with concentration. Nin's language is so beautiful, yet extremely complex. I think that certain people (particularly women) will be able to relate to her writing on a very personal level, particularly when Nin delves into the psychological and philosophical rifts between her role as a writer and her role as a woman. So some people will understand it, and others will not: it's all a matter of perspective, in my opinion. The one element that stands out is Nin's sacrifice as a writer. The diary, in many ways, limited her accessability as a novel writer in her lifetime because she couldn't publish the diaries until after the death of her first husband. Thus, she had to wait until after her death in order to receive the recognition that she deserves.

If I ever feel up to the challenge, I'll read the second volume.

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