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Incest Hardcover – 24 Jun 1993

2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers; First Edition edition (24 Jun. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0720609054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0720609059
  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 16.4 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 405,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anaïs Nin (1903-1977) was born in Paris and aspired at an early age to be a writer. An influential artist and thinker, she wrote primarily fiction until 1964, when her last novel, Collages, was published. She wrote The House of Incest, a prose-poem (1936), three novellas collected in The Winter of Artifice (1939), short stories collected in Under a Glass Bell (1944), and a five-volume continuous novel consisting of Ladders to Fire (1946), Children of the Albatross (1947), The Four-Chambered Heart (1950), A Spy in the House of Love (1954), and Seduction of the Minotaur (1961). These novels were collected as Cities of the Interior (1974). She gained commercial and critical success with the publication of the first volume of her diary (1966); to date, fifteen diary volumes have been published. Her most commercially successful books were her erotica published as Delta of Venus (1977) and Little Birds (1979). Today, her books are appearing digitally, most notably with the anthology The Portable Anais Nin (2011).

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By pablo vision on 2 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
Continuing the journey of intense emotions, conflicts, self-discovery, and fearless questioning scorched onto the pages of "Henry and June", "Incest" smoulders with the passion Nin so eloquently expresses. Chronicling the years from 1932 to 1934, and detailing her relationships with Henry Miller, Hugh Guiler, Antonin Artaud, with her analysts Rene Allendy and Otto Rank, and - most electrifying - the reunion with her father, this volume sizzles with emotional tension. June Miller - the woman, the caricature, the mysterious enigma - still imposes a vivid presence in this drama of turbulent love - a presence in no way diminished by actual proximity to the main events. But, although Nin is exceedingly generous in her portraits of these characters, she towers above them all - intellectually, artistically, emotionally, and by the sheer expansive spectrum of her mind, and because of her intensely intimate and brave connection to experiences. The truly exceptional always defy narrow definitions, and will always struggle - even with extreme compromise - to find anyone who might be a suitable and inspiring match: Dali and Dylan suffered at the hands of those who previously praised them as geniuses, purely because they would not be confined by the conservative conformity that the lesser beings of radical, alternative, and superficially bohemian counter-culture movements generally default to; and - despite Nin being prepared to indulge her lovers, and receive from several that which she could not get from just one - even collectively, ultimately they all disappoint.Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anais turns and twists caught within the bonds of inner emotion with a variety of avant garde shapers of the mid 20th century. She is the bridge between psychoanalysis and the avant garde.

She sets herself out like a market stall of emotions, someone embraced within passion but she comes over as needy, needing to consumate with others to retain a sense of her wholeness. Wrapped around several lovers in some avant garde wrestling match she flits from each describing their strengths and weaknesses in a no hold barred description of daily emotional struggle. Hugh the husband meanwhile supports her in this bout of frenzy.

Meanwhile a few hundred miles away Hitler was being asked to take over the Chancellorship and Natioal Socialist violence was enacted on a daily basis. Nin is sealed off from real life as she is locked within her aquarium of sexual desire, trysts and flits, as a butterly flits to feed from each tender flower that blooms in her undersea world. It is a revealing picture of a woman who has no centre. She later matured into someone with profound insight in her lecture book. Here however she just appears tortured by emotions.

It leads up to the relationship with her father, the man who betrayed her in her childhod and she seeks to revenge this betrayal through breaking his heart. Undertaken after she has had therapy and seduced or been seduced by her therapists. This sums up the book as no one appears to have any personal boundaries. It is a group or people who have no sense of a beginning and end all interlocked. This appears as no Oceanic flux a melting or union of souls but people lost lonely dislocated seeking some form of comfort in a solipistic world locked within the need to taste each other.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
85 of 92 people found the following review helpful
An Amazing Document 10 Sept. 2002
By bookkitten - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
For the love of ... Are we reviewing the book, or are we critiquing the woman? We're reviewing the book, right? So why so much moralistic brouhaha about the writer's behavior? When Van Gogh's work is auctioned off for a gazillion dollars, is the fact that he was mentally ill of great concern, or is there more interest in his artistry, his skill, and his innovative and altogether original treatment of a mundane subject?
Yes, Anais Nin describes doing some things that we find disturbing. (Regarding the abortion, back in those days when very little was known about the fetus, late-term abortions were common and there was no moral dilemma. We simply can't judge her by our modern understanding. And as for her bizarre relationship with her father, one again would need to understand the context, the extremely complicated history from which the behavior arose.)
So enough of the judgments of Anais Nin's descriptions of her own behavior (does she get points for honesty?) and take a look at the writing. I simply defy anyone to describe such strange events with as much brilliance and poetry. Nin's writing is like a ballet on ice; it is stylized, feminine, passionate and strict at the same time. Who else could divulge the darkest secrets with the delicacy of a geisha serving tea?
Some day Nin's achievement will be recognized by the literary establishment. In the meantime, if you don't count yourself among the squeamish, judgmental, or easily disturbed, buy this book.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
But yet, you kept reading ... 18 April 2004
By Katie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Regardless of the subject matter, Anais Nin is an incredible writer and her way with words was probably part of her charm in life. Her ability to describe even the most perverted behavior as something transcendent and meaningful probably was the ability that kept her circle of lovers around her. She could make the most petty behavior seem poetic by her descriptions and that's seductive to someone caught in a relationship with such a person.
I read the journals of Anais Nin not because I identify with her, or even sympathise with her, but because I enjoy the way she makes every small event of her life seem like something elevated and rife with meaning. I am fascinated by the lurid details and by the paradox of all her affairs, were these men sexually abusing her, or was she using them? It seems, somehow both.
And there's a little bit of teenage angst still lurking inside me that was never cured. The part of me that still listens to the Smiths and loves Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton adores Anais Nin and her glorious tragic screwed-upness.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A woman in love with life- in all it's beauty and pain 23 Aug. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have read this book a few times. I felt great anguish, and hope for this woman, and all she was going through. As a writer, I can perhaps understand a bit more why she would put herself in this position... and maybe as a woman, even though she explains her motivations, desires, and actions pretty good. I do not agree with the person who said she was just a sick person. To write about something so intensely personal and so shattering, I think she would have to have been very strong emotionally, or it would have destroyed her, which is clearly NOT the case. whether she became a better person for it, who are we to judge? she wanted, and needed to experience life to the fullest. who can say there is something wrong with that? isn't that what we are ultimately here for. the only thing she could not control was the pain and the things that were beyond her- but she understood that, and still progressed. I think she did have a lot of courage, and was a remarkable woman, who let herself stay open to the world and all it had to offer her. she knew herself better than anyone else did, and while she had faults, they only seemed to magnify her humanity and vulnerability more, rather than make her into someone negative and bitter, which she could have been. we are all imperfect, and sometimes, the imperfections are also beauty marks, and Anais had many!! for anyone who wants to know more about women and how they sometimes suffer for love and the trappings it brings; this is a must read. also for breaking taboos, and seeing that life is not over once we enter into those realms. we can all learn from this brilliant woman.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Perhaps the best of Nin's writing is here 18 July 2006
By Allan M. Lees - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In general I find Anais Nin's work to be self-indulgent and her subject matter (largely herself) trivial. Her portraits of others are frequently lightweight and lack perceptiveness. Her Diaries are overwrought and sometimes unintentionally funny but in general aren't worth the time it takes to read them. These previously unpublished sections of her Diaries, in which Nin describes her incestuous relationship with her father, are however the most compelling segments of her writing in the whole canon.

She describes with great insight her father's character, and she sketches his physical attributes with great economy yet enables us to see the man as she saw him - frail, a hopeless narcicist and an aging dandy, yet compelling and vital despite the betrayals of his body (and his betrayals of all those who ever got close to him). Her account of her own feelings is also economical for once, and we don't have to labor through over-written descriptions of her emotional condition in order to get to the point.

While the subject matter may not be to everyone's taste, I would argue that if you have any interest in Nin's work and times, this is the book above all others that you should read.
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Bold and Honest 19 Dec. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Her bold, honest observations and self-revelations as a woman were provoking. I tried not to judge her and frankly her affairs with numerous men while married, were with mostly other married people! Were they all unbalanced? Just human. She has a horrid abortion experience--all this in 1930s Paris while she is in her early 30s. Throughout she describes in moving detail her thoughts and feelings and confusion and self-analysis about all of this. The baldness of it is gripping. Her need to express herself is compelling. The writing is expressive. The first pages didn't really draw me in but I kept with it and found I couldn't stop reading it.
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