Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The 60th anniversary of CITIES OF THE INTERIOR

शोध परिणाम
  1. The enemy of a love is never outside. It's not a man or a woman. It's what we lack in ourselves. - Anaïs Nin

Sixty years ago, Anais Nin's CITIES OF THE INTERIOR was published.  This volume collected her novels for the first time.  Philip K. Jason explained in the intro to the 1973 volume ANAIS NIN READER:

Although Anais Nin has been a published writer for four decades, her work has been given serious critical attention only in recent years.  One reason for the recognition of Nin's work having been so long delayed is its unconventional nature.  The art of Anais Nin cuts across traditional literary categories.  She combines poetic lyricism with an extended fable, blurring the distinction between poetry and prose.  Her writings are presented to us both as separate, self-contained compositions and as part of a continuous work-in-progress; moreover, they hover in that contemporary no-man's-land between autobiography and fiction.  Finally, she is a truly international writer whose work belongs to no one national literature. 

Anais Nin wrote novels, novellas, short stories, the prose poem HOUSE OF INCEST, erotica and is famous for her diaries and journals.  Of her own writing, Anais explained in NOVEL OF THE FUTURE, "In fiction I dwell on the pursuit of the hidden self.  I give much importance to the Walter Mitty in all of us, to our dreams and fantasies, because I am convinced of their importance, their influence, and their revolutionary character.  What may seem unreal or invented in my writing is the natural outcome of dramatizing the conflict between the conscious and unconscious self.  What we are accustomed to accepting as familiar is the external appearance of reality.  The external story is what I consider unreal."

CITIES OF THE INTERIOR gathers Anais' five novels: LADDERS TO FIRE, CHILDREN OF THE ALBATROSS, THE FOUR-CHAMBERED HEART, A SPY IN THE HOUSE OF LOVE and SEDUCTION OF THE MINOTAUR (SOLAR BAROQUE in the first collection -- it was expanded when re-published in 1961).  In 2013, the collection was finally made available in digital formatFANTASTIC FICTION notes, "Using spare but powerful prose, Nin reveals a psychological truth about women and relationships that goes beyond the personal and into the universal, providing a 'mirror' in which readers can see clearly see aspects of their own selves."  A SPY IN THE HOUSE OF LOVE had sold well for AVON PAPERBACKS but most of Nin's work, including the original CITIES OF THE INTERIOR, was either self-published or released by small publishers.  That sixty years later, we're still talking about CITIES OF THE INTERIOR goes to how groundbreaking the five collected novels remain

  1. In Anaïs Nin’s Cities of the Interior, the female characters represent her many selves and who she wishes to be, while her male characters represent her experiences with lovers & what she admires in them. These also overlap because of her bisexuality.
  2. Correlations to her reality in Cities of The Interior; Anais Nïn: Lillian June Miller: Sabina Henry Miller: Jay I’ve decoded it. Slightly fictionalized, but definitely inspired.

SWALLOW PRESS pull-quotes Rebecca West ("Real and unmistakable genius"), THE ATLANTIC ("She explores relationships on a level to which few contemporary novelists penetrate"), Daniel Stern ("A prose/poetry dream, a lyrical celebration of the inner life and the images it evokes") and Karl Shapiro ("Beautiful, rare novels").  Those influenced by Anais include Carly Simon, Jim Morrison, Alice Walker, James Leo Herlihy, Gore Vidal, Judy Chicago, Barbara Kraft, Daina Chaviano, Wendy Guerra, Steven Reigns, Sharon Spencer, Anna Balakian, Anna Kavan

Upon its release in 1959, CITIES OF THE INTERIOR was reviewed by Edwin Fancher in THE VILLAGE VOICE who noted the novels "depict the interferences to life, the blocks and distortions to growth, and try to go to the neurotic core of their characters." In Volume Six 1955 - 1966 of THE DIARY OF ANAIS NIN, Nin writes:

The five novels are out in one volume, CITIES OF THE INTERIOR.  I read at the Becks' Living Theatre.  I read the Party Scene at the end of LADDERS TO FIRE.  There was an opening at the Guggenheim Museum the same night, which put my friends in a terrible spot, but they all came,  faithfully, warmed up the hall, no defections!  One person came with a two-month-old baby, who cried until I began to read.  There was a parrot in the entrance hallway which had to be covered.  They serve coffee and sell books.  Good atmosphere. 

That was sixty years ago.  Two years later, in 1961, Alan Swallow's SWALLOW PRESS would begin publishing Nin's work

In "The New Woman," Anais Nin explains:

Why one writes is a question I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself.  I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live.  I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me -- the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics.  I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living.  That I believe is the reason for every work of art.

  1. "I must be a mermaid, I have no fear of depth and a great fear of shallow living" ~ Anais Nin For Photographed by Styled by Makeup by Hair by

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