Nin, Anaïs

Nin, Anaïs

(ənī`ĭs nĭn, nēn), 1903–77, American writer, b. Paris. The daughter of the Spanish composer Joaquín Nin, she came to the United States as a child. She was a psychoanalytic patient of Otto RankRank, Otto
, 1884–1937, Austrian psychoanalyst; one of Sigmund Freud's first and most valued pupils. He early employed Freudian techniques to clarify the underlying significance of myths, producing the classic paper Der Mythus von der Geburt des Helden (1909; tr.
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, and a deep concern with the subconscious is evidenced in her work. This is particularly true of her best-known works, her autobiographical diaries, which reveal her psychological and artistic development. These have been published in several collections: early diaries, 1914–31 (4 vol., 1980–85, J. Sherman, ed.); diaries, 1931–74 (7 vol., 1969–81, G. Stuhlmann, ed.); and unexpurgated diaries (4 vol., 1986–96). Nin's fiction, which is noted for its poetic style and searching portraits of women, includes the novels Winter of Artifice (1939) and A Spy in the House of Love (1954). Her published works include her correspondence with Henry Miller (1965); critical works, such as The Novel of the Future (1970); and two volumes of erotica, The Delta of Venus (1977) and Little Birds (1979).

Bibliography

See biography by D. Bair (1995); study by B. L. Knapp (1978).

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Nin, Anaïs

(1903–77) writer; born in Paris, France. Child of a Spanish father and French-Danish mother, she and her mother moved to New York City (1914) where she attended Catholic schools. She left school when 16, worked as a model, studied dance, and returned to Europe (1923). (In 1923 she married a New York banker, Hugh Guiler; although he would later illustrate some of her novels under the name "Ian Hugo," little is known of how long this marriage survived.) She investigated psychoanalysis under the tutelage of Otto Rank, and briefly practiced the discipline under his supervision and on her own in New York City (1934–35). She returned to France (1935), and helped establish a publishing house, Siana Editions, because no one would publish her erotically charged works. She returned to New York City (1939) and continued writing but it would be the 1960s before she began to be discovered by the literary world at large. She would eventually become best-known for her series of intensely personal journals begun in 1931, The Diary of Anaïs Nin (10 vols. 1966–83); additional journals have since been published. She is also known for her intimate relationships with Henry Miller and Lawrence Durrell, among many others described in her writings. She also wrote novels, short stories, and erotica, all clearly drawing on the contents of her journals.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.