Hannah's Reviews > Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love"--The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin

Henry and June by Anaïs Nin
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Jun 09, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: classic, romance, erotic, non-fiction, favorites

Holy. Crap. For lack of better words.

This book took me (what?) three months to finish? Maybe more? It all muddled together in one mess of hot emotions...and after having finished it just a moment ago, the only time between being me turning on the computer in a flustered rush and logging in. And I'm shocked I finished it even that quickly. I felt possessed in reading this, dominated and entirely taken over in Anaïs Nin and her life...a life which is certainly unlike others, to say the least.

Throughout this diary Anaïs Nin had three lovers and one husband (four lovers if you'd like to include June.) Yes, all at the same time. And while it mainly focuses on her violent and all-consuming relationship with Henry Miller, it also revolves around her fleeting love with her own husband, her experimental one with her psychologist, angry and often passionless escape of Eduardo, and her deep, connecting feelings to Henry's very own June. It reaches levels of intensity in her honesty of feelings and her own quickly shaping moods that I felt almost sickened while reading it...sick, hungry, desirous, and very much turning into a little Nin myself.

I had first become interested in this diary after becoming an ardent D.H. Lawrence fan and reading a bit of Henry Miller as well, admiring and marveling at his crude genius. When I learned of Anaïs Nin, I was at once excited at the thought of it. D.H. Lawrence greatly affected her as well as Henry Miller, and I could picture in my head the three of them, sitting in a close circle, enveloped in intimacy, speaking in hushed whispers of things us mortal minds could never fathom, but they so easily and brilliantly took on. They are sexual creatures like none other, each so different, and yet so similar that I feel one can only truly respect this diary if you have read, experienced, and loved all three of their writings.

Throughout reading this, I would often fling it away, pressing my hands to my temples, and cry out to whoever was near me to hear it: "I can't take this anymore...I'm quitting, I'm putting the book down. Yes, forever this time. She's crazy, she's mad. They all are--I can't do it..."

And moments later, I would be seen away, painfully reading through this, as though I wanted nothing more than to be at peace, relieved and finished. Though once I did finish, I wanted nothing more than to be in her world once more...to let her poetry sink into me like a nightmare and sweet dream all at once. She is not for everyone--I find that very, very few could appreciate her. And I'll say the same for Henry Miller and D.H. Lawrence, but I personally feel a certain liberation, an excitement and oozing feeling bordering on insanity upon reading from them. And that's what you're supposed to get from them--you're supposed to melt, drown with their own feeling, and thus creating your own. It's not enjoyable, it's not easy, and if you're willing to let yourself run wild into their world, then by all means...I beg of you, for from now and forever, I shall answer the question of "Whose your favorite writer?" with the certain answer of, "Lawrence, Nin, and Miller."
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Quotes Hannah Liked

Anaïs Nin
“I hate men who are afraid of women's strength.”
Anaïs Nin, Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love"--The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin


Reading Progress

12/07/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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William Herschel very much enjoyed your review. it's somehow great when books stir up such conflicting passion and emotions.


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