If what Proust says is true, that happiness is the absence of fever, then I will never know happiness. For I am possessed by a fever for knowledge, experience, and creation.
I'm currently devouring Under a Glass Bell, 1944, a collection of eight short stories which she literally published herself, hand-printed on a rickety foot-pedaled press. Her dreamy, lyrical, intelligent style has completely entranced me.
Known for her published journals, which she began writing at age 11 and spanned more than 60 years, Nin is now most recognized for her sophisticated, highly elegant erotic literature and short stories, which were published posthumously, after her death in 1977.
She was brought to New York in 1914 by her mother, a classically trained singer, after the abandonment of her composer father, and was educated there, but later returned to Europe, where she married Hugo Guiler, an international banker, in 1923.
Henry Miller, with whom she exchanged hundreds of letters. A Literary Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953, includes much of their correspondence, an interesting documentary on their struggle as recognition as writers, as well as their romantic relationship.
She returned to New York, just before the outbreak of WWII. From being a cult figure in the early feminist movement, she later rose to international prominence with her writing. In 1973, she received an honorary doctorate from the Philadelphia College of Art, and she was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1974.
The function of art is to renew our perception.
What we are familiar with, we cease to see.
The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.