Melissa's Reviews > Delta of Venus
Delta of Venus
by Anaïs Nin
by Anaïs Nin
Nov 28, 2007
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 Birds to be sure, but the beauty of Nin is that no matter how racy she gets, it's never distasteful or off-putting like a lot of erotica can be, just for the sake of shock value. Nin's erotica is sensual not only because of the sex that the characters are engaging in, but because the entire time you're reading you're reminded that Nin was writing in the 1930s, when sex was relatively freer than the puritanical decades before, but not nearly as free as the sex we know (and are numb to) today. Thus there's an inherent tension created from the restraint of the characters as they toe the line of social decorum, taboos, and what was/wasn't acceptable sexually at the time, as well as attempt to understand and temper (or, most often, indulge) their lust and experimental curiosities. Nin's erotica isn't dirty or depraved at all...rather, it's beautifully written, imbued with surprising insights and psychology, and, best of all, is written from a woman's perspective...and not in an in-your-face "I'm an empowered, sexual female, hear me roar" kind of way. There's something for everyone here...unless you like your erotica to be more of the Hustler ilk. (Ew.) None of that here. I highly recommend any of Nin's work if you're at all curious about erotica (or even you're not...you'll like it, I promise).
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November 28, 2007 – Shelved