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In Favour of the Sensitive Man

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  600 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Here, in more than twenty essays, Nin shares her unique perceptions of people, places, and the arts. Includes several lectures and two interviews.
Paperback, 138 pages
Published May 28th 1992 by Penguin Classics (first published 1966)
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Luís C.
In "In Favour of the Sensitive Man" Anais Nin gives us an important part of her way of thinking and seeing things. She tells us about feminine eroticism very different from eroticism tinged with pornography so dear to the male race. It links this feminine eroticism to love, to emotion, to the choice of a unique being.
She also tells us why she writes: to create a world in which she can live. She says her contribution to the movement of Liberation of the woman.
In the second part of the book, she
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A slim collection of essays by Anais Nin. In this book, she writes about feminism, her ideas about psychology, erotica, man-woman relationships, literature, arts, personalities and places. One section of the book contains essays about her travels in non-European cities such as Fez, Bali, Morocco etc. She is someone who sees the best in other people and their cultures, and thereby, I suppose, gets maximum enjoyment out of travels. Something that is quite refreshing especially the kind of ...more
Amy Neftzger
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anais Nin may be most famous for her journals, but her essays on relationships that were written decades ago are still very relevant and full of great advice. She discusses how to maintain balance and build relationships that are more of a true partnership than clearly divided roles in which one person's career goals dominate.

Her reviews of books and movies show an acute sense of artistry and appreciation for well crafted works. While many of these were written in the early seventies, I found
T.D. Whittle
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews, anais-nin
This was enjoyable but dated. Nin's reflections in this particular collection of essays seem so bound to their time and place that any sense of current relevance is faint. My favourite essay though is not outdated, which is the one she wrote and delivered at a UCLA homage to Ingmar Bergman in 1973. I liked too her review of the book At A Journal Workshop if only because it encouraged me to buy the book myself.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am looking forward to reading her Diaries soon.
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I read a couple of times between the ages of 14 and 19, in part because all of the fascinating older women in my life at the time seemed to be reading it. (They were also reading the Nin diaries, The Sensuous Woman, A Spy in the House of Love, so I, too, read the latter around the time I read this one for the first time. The combination of all this stuff was pretty influential. In this volume I first learned about her press and all that, which in part sparked a long-term interest ...more
Mar 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved these essays, especially the travel pieces--though rereading them decades later, yes, there is a bit of intentional blind-eye going on. A willful and unfashionable romanticizing of time and place, but isn't that what I love about Anais Nin anyway? The willful embrace of veils and mystery, a wisp of perfume in the air, a voluntary self-intoxication? Her Fez... makes me want to go back to The Sheltering Sky. Anais was the first woman writer I actually wanted to BECOME. And as usual, we ...more
Farhan Khalid

Peeling off the false selves, the programmed selves

I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live

World is a subjective creation

We write to taste life twice, to transcend our life

D. H. Lawrence said, We don’t need more children in the world, we need hope

Women were my patterns for living, men for thinking

My father’s leaving gave me the feeling of a broken bridge with the world that I wanted to rebuild

I balanced the two worlds—earth and imagination—then came the
Mike Witcombe
Anaïs Nin is renowned for being a hugely ambitious and influential writer, yet this collection does nothing to further that legacy. Grouped into sections broadly based on the politics of gender, book reviews and travel writing, this collection draws together disparate strands of Nin's work to offer a telling glimpse into her variety as a writer. Sadly, it's a glimpse best left on the bookshelf.

The gender-based pieces are some of the best, but they suffer from advances in feminist theory since
Maddie Heidari
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally a feminist perspective I could understand...
Debbie Robson
Jan 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a marvellous, fascinating woman! Although most of these essays are at least forty years old there is still a lot to make the reading of them worthwhile. I actually have read this book some years before because I remembered reading about Miss MacIntosh, My Darling by Marguerite Young and being curious about someone spending seventeen years of their life writing the one novel.
It's interesting to realise that I didn't remember so well the essays that fascinated me the most now: the lyrical,
Nov 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting as a time capsule of 1970s feminism, but otherwise somewhat disappointing. The final essay, My Turkish Grandmother, is really wonderful, but otherwise it's a pretty forget-able collection. More detail in the blog review...
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am more of a Anais Nin freak than Margaret Atwood - one of my prized possessions now is a signed copy of one of her books from my Love, Erin....

Anais is a thinking woman's woman. She is erotic and surreal at the same time. Her writing gives me a good way.
Oct 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well worth the short period of time it will take you to read this. Though it has been sometime since I have read this, I feel confident in saying that it is dated yet still relevant. Insights into the mind that has offered us so many beautiful, fleshy landscapes in her romantic and sexual prose.
Mar 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. Anais Nin really knows a woman's heart. I may have said this about her before, but it is so true. this book was of course a quit read because of the essay format. She is very detail oriented but she doesn't waste words as some author's tend to do.
Jon McMahon
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
essential intimacy/poetry to the max/glorious expressions of our collective interiors/divine gift
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As always, the most perfect collection of bound words.
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was written in the 1970s, and the essays feel both dated and timeless.

The book is organised into three categories:

1) Women and Men

I wondered how dated some of the essays were - and they were often intertwined with her experience as an artist. For example, in The New Women, she talks about why she writes - and then links it to how women have moved from being muses to the artists to being artists:

In letters I've received from women, I've found what Rank had described as a guilt for creating.
Anna Hepworth
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nin's writing is beautiful, but ultimately completely forgettable. I've read this over a long period of time, and by the end of the last essay, I have little to no memory of the early essays. I did enjoy reading some of the essays, but have no intention of doing so again.

The first set of essays, on 'Women and Men', have interesting things to say, and give an interesting perspective on one aspect of feminism in context. The second set, 'Writing, Music, and Films', I found mostly irritating,
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has stuck with me because of some perspectives that Anais shares, particularly her take on puritanism and the hangups with sexuality in America. Additionally, I continue to reflect on her thoughts about the identity of the woman in relation to the artist, and her path from muse to artist.
Athena Matisse
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only read the titular essay but within only 10 pages Nin articulated ideas that had been floating around in my brain and communicated a real purpose to her writing. Would definitely recommend this essay to other young women.
Jasmine Amussen
I appreciate Anais Nin all the time for many different reasons, but this isn't the best collection of her essays nor the best articulation of her fluid, erotic and sensitive feelings about sex and love. Some serious standouts, but overall best absorbed through other collections.
"In his book he [Otto Rank] speaks constantly about the "creative will." I even forgot that expression and used instead my own, which is stubbornness. I said very often that I was more stubborn than other writers. I would not give up, I have never given up, but I don't call it creative will. It is a beautiful phrase."

"The attraction shifted to the poet, the musician, the singer, the sensitive man they had studied with, to the natural, sincere man without stance or display, nonassertive,
Fred Mindlin
Mar 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great reminder of the tremendous impact and continuing importance of feminism for men. The title essay has some great passages on the men who are partnering with the new women, and how they are building relationships based on equality and trust and openness that the women are sometimes not even ready for...

This topic relates to the issue of "the commander in chief" role, the dominance model of dog training, and the fragility of masculinity, where the prevailing rules say no, it's not alright for
Tyrannosaurus regina
I've always been a little bit fascinated by Anaïs Nin, though one thing I've never done is read her complete diaries. Well, I haven't done that here either, but there are a few exerpts as well as essays, reviews, and personal glimpses. She really is a unique human being and a divine writer, and sometimes I just want to live inside her brain for a little while. Picking this up was a first because of my intense need lately to refresh myself on some feminist commentary, but there's so much more ...more
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit I skipped/skimmed some of the essays but that's the joys of books full of essays. The ones I did choose to read I sometimes read twice. They were so good and spoke to me on a healing level. My favourites were: The New Woman; Notes on Feminism; My Sister, My Spouse (which lead me to this book and a whole bunch of writers lives to explore); In Favor of the Sensitive Man; On Truth and Reality (which lead me to Otto Rank) and My Turkish Grandmother. I highly recommend this book to ...more
Olivier Goetgeluck
"What I liked best about psychology is the concept that destiny is interior, in our own hands. While we wait for others to free us, we will not develop the strength to do it ourselves. [...] Liberation means the power to transcend obstacles. The obstacles are educational, religious, racial, and cultural patterns. The real tyrants are guilt, taboos, educational inheritance - these are our enemies. And we can grapple with them. The real enemy is what we were taught, not always by man, but often by ...more
Rafael Pajaro - Rafa
i'll tell you guys what i told my roommate, don't bother with the travel writing
Sophia Stuart
anais is extraordinary.

her meandering and meaningful thoughts about women, sensuality, power and creativity were ground-breaking - and, in a way, still are.

but I admire her most for her willingness to take on and tackle powerful assertions against women writing and just get on with her life and, well, Write.


Maite Iracheta
Feb 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I read this book some years ago, I like to come back to it once in a while and review some passages. There's a section on Ingmar Bergman that is worth reading today in his memory, to recall his deep understanding of, as Nin puts it, one's "journey through dark regions".
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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
“We do not escape into philosophy, psychology, and art--we go there to restore our shattered selves into whole ones.” 154 likes
“Some people read to confirm their own hopelessness. Others read to be rescued from it.” 91 likes
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