Rachel'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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Apr 14, 2008

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Read in April, 2008

Having first read this book at the age of 22, I have to say that my perspective on it 7 years later is dramatically different. I did not experience the profound liberation that I did when reading Henry & June the second time around. I once considered Nin to be a strong, sexually heroic figure, but now my opinion is that, during this time of her life, she was mostly confused, self-destructive and pawned her behavior off on the idea of naivity. Don't get me wrong, I feel that the love she experienced for Henry Miller was beautiful, although unfortunately damaging to herself and to the people around her. I also feel that she was indeed naive and that many of her experiences were necessary for personal growth, but she was also fully aware of her behavior and the effects of it.Perhaps my 29 year old self is not able to relate to her thoughts, emotions & behaviors on the same level as my 22 year old self was as an effect of my own sexual experiences and life lessons learned from mistakes made. Hopefully this means I am less confused now than I was 7 years ago. (Side note: If it is true that our cells completely regenerate every 7 years, creating a new physical self, then this could be an epic moment for me.) I will always hold Nin in high regard and I still want to read the remaining volumes of her unexpurgated diaries to see how she progresses (or regresses). If anything, the unbelievably gorgeous tone of her writing is well worth the time spent reading.
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message 1: by JP (new) - rated it 4 stars

JP Nicely written.
I originally read her expurgated diaries in French which gave me a very different idea of her. Only later did I read "Incest" which is the volume that follows this one, I believe (1932-1934) and speaks a lot of her youth and relationship with her father. In it, she does a lot of soul searching and mea culpas but indeed, she continues living her life as if her actions had no consequence to her or others. Still, in these years, she is a bit more self-aware.


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