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Delta of Venus (Penguin Modern Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Anais Nin
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In Delta of Venus Ana's Nin conjures up a glittering cascade of sexual encounters. Creating her own 'language of the senses', she explores an area that was previously the domain of male writers and brings to it her own unique perceptions. Her vibrant and impassioned prose evokes the essence of female sexuality in a world where only love has meaning.

Contains a preface by the author, adapted from The Diary of Ana's Not, Volume III.

Her second volume of erotic writings, Little Birds, is also published by Penguin.

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Product Description


A beautiful American woman journeys the labyrinth of her own sexual subconscious.

About the Author

Partly of Spanish origin, Anaïs Nin was also of Cuban, French and Danish descent. She was born in Paris and spent her childhood in various parts of Europe. Her father left the family for another woman, which shocked Anaïs profoundly and was the reason for her mother to take her and her two brothers to live in the United States. Later Anaïs Nin moved to Paris with her husband, and they lived in France from 1924 to 1939, when Americans left on account of the war. She was analysed in the 1930s by René Allendy and subsequently by Otto Rank, with whom she also studied briefly in the summer of 1934. She became acquainted with many well-known writers and artists, and wrote a series of novels and stories.

Her first book - a defence of D. H. Lawrence - was published in the 1930s. Her prose poem, House of Incest (1936) was followed by the collection of three novellas, Winter of Artifice (1939). The quality and originality of her work were evident at an early stage but, as is often the case with avant-garde writers, it took time for her to achieve wide recognition. The international publication of her Journals won her new admirers in many parts of the world, particularly among young people and students. Her novels, Ladders to Fire, Children of the Albatross, The Four-Chambered Heart, A Spy in the House of Love and Seduction of the Minotaur were first published in the United States between the 1940s and the 1960s, and eventually gathered in Cities of the Interior. She also wrote a collection of short stories, Under a Glass Bell. In the 1940s she began to write erotica for an anonymous client, and these pieces are collected in Delta of Venus and Little Birds (both published posthumously). Penguin also publish A Woman Speaks, a collection of lectures and interviews; Journal of a Wife,/i>, the third volume of The Early Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1923-1927; In Favour of the Sensitive Man and Other Essays; and, most recently, The Early Diary 1927-1931, which is the fourth volume of her diary. Henry and June, a chronicle of her passionate involvement with Henry Miller and his wife June Mansfield, and Incest are the new volumes of the 'unexpurgated diary' of Anaïs Nin, distinguishable from her previously published volumes by the references to both her husband and her love life. Her books have been translated into twenty-six languages around the world.

During her later years Anaïs Nin lectured frequently at universities throughout the USA. In 1973 she received an honorary doctorate from Philadelphia College of Art and in 1974 was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters. She died in Los Angeles in 1977.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 660 KB
  • Print Length: 307 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (30 Mar. 2000)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9FOU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,858 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
77 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uninhibited, poetic and sensual 29 Jun. 2004
By A Customer
"Delta of Venus" remains a very special work of erotic fiction. There is a glut of erotica on the marketplace these days, much of which far more obviously sexy than "Delta of Venus" - but, more often than not, the reader ends up laughing at the creaky writing and over-the-top sex scenes.
Anais Nin's book is very different. Her prose is perfurmed, intoxicating, rather than blatant, and she allows the realm of emotion to inform her stories. Although this may not sound expecially sexy in these "in your face" days, in fact Nin's work is profoundly erotic and deeply affecting. The writing is as subtle and powerful as a Debussy prelude. A feast for the senses.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In at the deep end 21 Nov. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
By page 2 of this book you're well into steamy sex; no literary foreplay here other than a fascinating brief introduction about how the book came to be written for a "collector". I've not read 50 Shades of Grey and wonder what the fuss is about but I did manage the first 40 pages of a copy left lying around and frankly not a lot happened. You can't say that for Anais Nin's romp through all manner of sexual adventures reduced into action packed vignettes of straight, gay, bi-, oral, anal, group and more. I almost got the feeling that she had a tick list of what hadn't been included - "oh yes, necrophilia - haven't done that yet, lets get a voluptuous fresh corpse dragged out of the harbour". There is a story thread of sorts running through the book. The time setting is in what sounds like the early 1900s with many layers of petticoats requiring removal and visits to whorehouses in Paris where syphilis and pregnancy are occupational hazards. But the question is not "what happens next?" but "how?" and "with whom?".

In today's culture more serious questions arise such as the difference, if any, between erotica and pornography,issues of misogyny, exploitation and child abuse - when a sexual romp between a man and his two hitherto estranged teenage daughters - makes one wonder how acceptable this genre is today.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An erotic feast for the senses 22 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
Delta of Venus is a spellbinding collection of short stories, each detailing a specific erotic encounter. Some of the themes are shocking; dealing with taboos that are rarely written about, but Nin writes with such sensitivity and flair that you are swept along with the adventure willingly. The images are vividly sensual and her passion for detail ensures that the reader is always captivated and involved. Nin writes from a feminine persective that will excite and intruige male readers and amaze women with her understanding of the female pysche. The characters are well-defined and herein lies her success: their personalities are the catalyst for the action. She brings them, and the situations that they find themselves in, vibrantly to life. There is something for everyone here. This is a book that will appeal to those who are looking for something more than a mindless romp: it is a beautifully written, thoughtful and most of all dazzlingly erotic book that will keep you thinking long after you have turned the last page. Nin is perhaps best known for her diaries, and Incest, the unexpurgated diary of 1932-34 is highly recommended if you are interested in getting to know the creator of Delta of Venus. The second volume in the "Journal of Love" series, Henry and June is also captivating.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insights into women's erotic fiction and writing 20 Aug. 2009
I'm really surprised by some of the reviews and its really why I'm bothering to write one, there are a couple of good reviews by other reviewers of this book here and I'd encourage anyone browsing to read them all. I dont know how anyone could find it perverse, boring or a waste of time however and they must have missed the point altogether.

This is erotic fiction but its not a blacklace or ace or any of those other publications, Nin was commissioned to write a series of erotic pieces by a subscriber and the preface/introduction explains the scenario, being constantly encouraged to be more and more explicit and being encouraged to go into almost medical textbook detail when writing sex scenes.

Reading the book with this in mind transforms the text, its not simply amusing or entertaining in the way that other great works of erotic fiction are, like for instance Fanny Hill, or, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (Classics) but I believe provides an insight into the feminine psyche. Despite the demands of the subscriber/commissioner there are still tender moments, reflections or recollections handled in a thought provoking way, some nice twists in some of the shorter pieces like guys meeting in a bar to boastfully relating their amourous adventures and discovering they have been unwittingly involved in a greater game.

I was pleased by some of the sensitivity in style and characterisation which I would attribute to Nin as an author and a women of her time, although this could be a consequence of reading her non-erotic writing too which I was encouraged by reading this to look into.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I saw the film first, then bought the book. It is an educational, shocking, facinating and stimulating read. Take it on holiday. Read it during the day on the beach, enact it during the night. It explores the physical in such painstaking detail as to leave no sexual stone unturned. There is "run of the mill" sex, then there is subtle, carefully thought out, mind blowing fantasy that is so far away from the normal that one is left breathlessly aware of being naive. A must for anyone with any kind of sex life and those seeking new life and excitement.
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