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Delta of Venus. Erotica By Anais Nin

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  17,800 ratings  ·  1,091 reviews
Literary erotica, Anais Nin is known for the subtle portrayal of sexual and sensual tensions.
Published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (first published 1969)
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Start your review of Delta of Venus. Erotica By Anais Nin
Nov 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was first introduced to Anais Nin by my boyfriend, who bought me a first edition of Little Birds on Valentines Day a couple of years ago. I was surprised to discover that it wasn't raunchy or esoteric at all, but very accessible, very beautiful, and (naturally) very sensual. At an estate sale recently I came across Delta of Venus and picked it up partly out of interest in Nin's writing and partly because it was a vintage book and I love vintage books. Delta of Venus is far sexier than Little ...more
I was rereading bits of this last night after seeing several one- or two-star reviews of it pop up in my feed recently. And scanning through some of the other GR reviews here, there's a lot of people objecting that it's ‘icky’ – one reviewer lists all the things that feature in Delta, things like incest, rape, paedophilia, and then just says, ‘Ew, right?’

WELL NO NOT EW ACTUALLY. I mean yes, ew, if you like, of course a lot of these things may not be very appealing depending on your tastes, but

Let's get one thing straight. This is erotica. Erotica erotica erotica erotica erotica. You know that phenomenon when you say something so many times that it temporarily loses its meaning? Firstly, it's a psychological phenomenon known as semantic satiation. Secondly, that's what I'm trying to do here with the word 'erotica'. Erotica erotica erotica erotica erotica. Run through that a few more times if you haven't sufficiently stripped yourself of assumptions, contextual peripheries, and
This collection forces you to examine your pre-conceived notions of erotica - at least, I did. If you think you'll start reading this all respectable in your best readerly librarian's glasses, then a few pages in, change into "something more comfortable", and finish in dire need of the coldest shower ever, you're probably wrong.

There's something for everyone here, and I mean EVERYONE, including necrophiliacs, pedophiles, sadists, and those with any number of other kinks. Yuck, right? Yuck,

I mean, I had never heard of this until recently when I had been dared to read it, and yes, I knew that I was getting into heavy erotica, but I hadn't expected it to be so damn good.

Seriously. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was almost completely unable to stand up during most of the read, and because I was using text-t0-speech, that mean being rather unpleasantly surprised as I was up and about during my day.

I wanted to scream out, "Oh, come on!" or "This isn't Fair!" at random people as I
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A kaleidescopic array of tantalizing erotica. An "epidemic of erotic journals" that's indispensable to the most insatiable of sex aficionados. It is the best of its type; no doubt this may be the bible of this literary black-sheep genre! It smolders, it quickens the pulse (even if you're gay, even if you're a prude, even if you believe that this is not "your cup-a tea").

The charm of this experiment, or, "seeing (of) sexual experience from a woman's point of view" lies in its Russian Nesting
Steven Godin
Tricky one...Is there any way to write well about sex? Too much metaphor and the words themselves are destroyed in an orgy of filth, too little and it can become cold and clinical. The issues of gender politics, the fluidity of sexuality and sexual identity, and different sexual kinks also come into play. It’s a fine tightrope to balance on. And it disturbed me early on with the mention of children, oh God, this better not be anything like 120 Days of Sodom!, thankfully not, what follows are ...more
Dec 24, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amanda by: I first heard of Anais Nin in a de Lint novel, Memory and Dream
I think you have to be a little on the sick and twisted to get off on this book. Well, parts of it. Here are some examples of the icky ickiness Anais Nin writes about in Delta of Venus.

-Dude lays in bed early in the morning, and some kids who live in the house come in and horse play around his room. He gets a hard on and encourages them to frolic about on top of the covers.
-Same dude, decades later, takes custody of his teenage son and daughter. Then he fucks 'em.
-A different dude burns some
A broke Anais Nin wrote porn at a dollar a page for an unknown collector who kept telling her to write less literary crap, more of the in and out. Which infuriated her, because she thought he was destroying everything interesting about sex. Which is basically the same debate people are having today about internet porn.

And she keeps punishing him for it. In one story a woman has an erotic opium experience, and it's pretty hot I guess, and then suddenly it's like (view spoiler)
Paul Bryant


- Hi there… my name’s Anais, what’s yours?

- Oh, er… hi Anais! My name’s Pau---- Manny. My name is Manny.

- Hi Manny. How are you tonight?

- Oh I'm fine thank you. Er.... you have a great laptop there.

- Why thank you! It’s a Lenovo Ideapad. Do you think it looks cute?

- Oh…yes.

- You should see the things I can do with it.

- Mm hmmm.

- What would you like to see me do Manny? Would you like to see me … type? Or…correct a manuscript? Do you want me to call my publisher? I can complain
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Less Poetry!

Most of the stories in "Delta of Venus" were written under a quasi-Oulipean constraint: they were commissioned by a collector of erotica who specified, "Concentrate on sex. Leave out the poetry."

Anais Nin initially complied. However, "I began to write tongue-in-cheek, to become outlandish, inventive, and so exaggerated that I thought he would realise I was caricaturing sexuality."

Back came the response, "Less poetry." The collector was looking for explicit, clinically precise
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, short-story
Delta of Venus is almost like a record of a writer’s development over time: there is a clear progression from the early stories, which are very broadly painted (with something of a Borgesian flavour, strange as that sounds), to the later stories, which are much more detailed and explicit, more in tune with what you would expect from erotica. For all the fuss made in the introduction about writing from a woman’s perspective, and capturing the emotional and sensual aspects of sex, I did not feel ...more
The following review contains little spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin is a collection of erotic short stories. Seriously amazing short stories. I haven't technically "read" this book since I keep it on my bedside table and take little nibbles of it when I feel like it. I might reread some stories or skip ones altogether. Therefore, I'm going to be rating the stories individually.

The Hungarian Adventurer:

This one is disgusting. Rouging your vagina is one thing. Raping
Abubakar Mehdi
Basically, Its a book about horny people doing Haraam things.
Like very, very Haraam things.
May 03, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: vintage erotica appreciaters
Over a period of years, I tried to find what I could appreciate about Nin's writing. Sure, it was groundbreaking at the time it was written and critically, I guess that's important.

It's pretty silly. I imagine college girls trying to copy Dita Von Teese's style read this in a dressing gown, drinking wine on some Urban Outfitters' silk bedspread before going out. That is enough to make me dislike it.
What is, indeed, being “erotic”? Wherein lays its essence? Does it even have an essence, or a formula that one can follow and therefore achieve “eroticism”? Is it confined only to the feminine? Is age of any importance when it comes to it? Is there a difference between “erotic” and “sexual”? Are these two irrevocably intertwined? Is it the mind that is aroused, or the body? Can you achieve “eroticism” purely by matter of perception? What is considered erotic by an individual, and how has that ...more
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite, i-desire

I read this book while my heart was breaking in the Spring of 2009; stubborn & resistant to change, this was exactly the medicine I needed to break all the way open. It wasn't until I felt Anaïs' voice echoing inside me that I truly understood & respected what it means to be feminine, to accept, to renew, to hold & nurture, to passionately let go, & in the process become what I always felt a woman should be; warm, dark, fathomless ocean. Having a naturally very dominant, fiery,
Jul 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: erotica
Now, this book, I'm finding difficult to rate. While I enjoyed quite a lot of what this book explored, there was some of it that was too much for me, and that, coming from me, is seriously saying something. Anais Nin, covers a variety of sexual subjects, some of those being exhibitionism, homosexuality, lesbianism, sadomachism and pedophilia. I have absolutely no preference to any of those subjects, and I feel easy reading about them, all except pedophilia. I was surprised that this book dabbled ...more
Dec 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anais-nin
This is a collection of short stories written in the 1940s. It was written for a private collector and was not intended for publication. We now know the “collector” was Roy M Johnson of Healdtown Oil. He was also paying others to write erotica including Henry Miller. Nin later explained why she had participated:
“At the time (1941) we were all writing erotica at a dollar a page, I realized that for centuries we had only one model for this literary genre — the writing of man. I was already
Anais Nin and a few of her writer friends were asked by an anonymous wealthy collector to write a series of Erotic short stories for $1.00 per page for his pleasure. However the collector was specific in the kind of erotica he wanted. Anais was to omit any warmth, emotion or poetry to her writing and only concentrate on the sex.

Even though these restrictions were in place I don’t think I’ve ever read erotica so well written, it was polished, bold and wildly daring. She covers a range of sexual
Feb 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hammer Presents readings by Anais Nin - Feb. 12
By Rena Kosnett

Anais Nin would have been 105 this year, and if all the hype is anywhere near accurate, she probably would still be fucking. Every time I overhear or participate in discussions involving Nin, the conversation inevitably turns smutty. Granted, she did submit herself as a cultural galvanizer of female sexual liberation at a time in Europe when there was very little female-authored erotica available; but I've always believed that those
K.D. Absolutely
Jan 29, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2012)
Honestly? I liked this book. It is erotica but it is classic and I love everything that have been written so many years ago when I wasn't born yet and people still devour them like they were recently published.

It's just that don't read this book straight in just few days. It could be numbing and lose its meaning. You see, the book is composed of short stories about sexual encounters and Anais Nin made sure that each story is different from the others by delving into different sexual subjects,
Regina Andreassen
Jul 26, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Erotica is one thing that I appreciate and enjoy, but necrophilia, pedophilia, sadism (you don't burn someone's is NOT OK), and so forth, is a different thing. I don't think the book is beautifully written either, and it is not creative at all. Clearly, Anais Nin tried to be original and perhaps that is why she felt the need to go that far; well, perhaps that should have been expected if we remember that she had an incestuous relationship with her dad, and was married to two guys
Luís C.
Group of short stories of erotic genre written in the 40s. Nothing special.
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, erotica
The people I follow on tumblr seem to absolutely adore Anais Nin and they have reblogged or posted some very choice quotes and excerpts from her writing that made me give into curiosity and borrow some of her works from the library.

A few other times when I’ve tried erotic fiction I end up laughing because the writing is just so cheesy and phrases are so overused; but I don’t think I once laughed in ridiculousness when I read this book. My cheeks flushed regularly going through the book though,
Astrid Reza
Aug 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-book-shelf
I had to make this book one of my must-have-list-of-book. So far it’s the best erotica literary writings I ever read. It literally makes you wet yourself. What really intriguing is what Anais explain in her preface (which adapted from her diaries). Doing it for a dollar a page, which apparently create one of her best collections of erotic stories. She needed the money to pay her and her friends living expenses, which she described that “Everyone around me irresponsible, unconscious of the ...more
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Anaïs Nin's Delta of Venus was published posthumously in 1977, but was largely written in the 1940s. It contains 15 short erotica stories, all of which were written for a private "collector". And it is what it is really, a mixture of stories from various character viewpoints, some of which tie in with each other, detailing a variety of sexual encounters, passions and desires.

The one thing about erotica is that you can't really read too much of it, because it just gets boring after a while -
Apr 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001, france

I read Delta of Venus in short batches so it took me a few months to finish. I only read from it when I was in a certain mood, I did not feel the need to read it as a novel. I savored it spoon by spoon. It is sensual and poetic. A much better alternative to some of the popular erotica books out there.
So I'd like to justify the two stars by firstly saying that I in no way found this 'ok.' (In. No. Way). I'd just hate to give it one, given the eloquence of Nin's writing. It'd be brutal to shred it completely.
Nin is masterful, stylish and even tantalising with her pen. The passages are strikingly exuberant in feel. Ethereal, almost. There's an almost unbelievably aesthetic feel to the book as a whole, so much so that it feels like the stories themselves are quite veiled, which is a peculiarly
Written in the 1940's, but not published until 1977, after Nin's death. It's erotica, 1940's style, not as salacious as what we find today, (Fifty Shades of Grey). But there were a few parts in a few of the stories that were a little much. Nin was writing erotica for a dollar per page just to get by, and she was adding a little more style and flourish than her buyers were looking for. But that's what set her stories apart from other writers, and why they are still of interest to readers today.

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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
“Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.” 541 likes
“He was now in that state of fire that she loved. She wanted to be burnt.” 481 likes
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