Top critical review
15 August 2018
This is just porn and nasty porn at that, with lots of sadism and masochism and, far worse, doses of paedophilia and incest, without any great deal of literary merit - I think that, if it was written today, it would never see the light of day.
In the first parts of her lengthy preface, written in 1940 and 1941, Nin explains that she and other financially challenged authors were knocking out explicit porn at a dollar a page, for a "collector"; in the final part of the preface, written in 1976, she tells us that, upon reviewing it, she came to thinking that she was a brave standard bearer for writing normally male dominated eroticism from a female viewpoint - she wasn't, she was just knocking out porn at a dollar a page.
Hail Penguin Modern Classics for allowing a taste of a writer before buying and venturing into a full scale work - this one just leaves a nasty taste.