If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Genre: Literature & Fiction
Author:Anais Nin

An exquisite reading high point familiarizing one with stories that will captivate you from beginning to end. The stories in Delta of Venus Nin wrote for a dollar a page in the 1940s. Erotica to the core yet contains a great deal of symbolism and darkness. Delta of Venus joyously explores the art of human sexuality. Rape, exhibitionism, voyeurism and incest are a few of the disarming and disturbing subject matters addressed in this book. My favorite stories are The Basque and Bijou, The Hungarian Adventurer, The Veiled Woman-- all remarkably unusual but alluring penned by the master of erotic writing, Anais Nin.

Anaïs Nin (born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell) (February 21, 1903, Neuilly-sur-Seine -- January 14, 1977) was a French author who became famous for her published journals, which span more than 60 years, beginning when she was 11 years old and ending shortly before her death. The most famous book of Anaïs Nin is Delta of Venus. It was first published in 1978. There are multiple short stories in this work with certain important characters reappearing throughout. She deals with many different sexual themes, while maintaining the balance of her life's work: the study and description of woman.

The collection of short stories that makes up this anthology was written during the 1940s for a private client known simply as "Collector"'. This "Collector" commissioned Nin, along with other now well-known writers (including Henry Miller), to produce erotic fiction for his private consumption. Despite being told to leave poetic language aside and concentrate on graphic, sexually explicit scenarios, Nin was able to give these stories a literary flourish and a layer of images and ideas beyond the pornographic. In the introduction, she called herself "the madam of this snobbish literary house of prostitution".

The stories range in length from less than a page to one hundred times that, and are tied together not just by their sexual premises, but also by Nin's distinct style and feminine viewpoint.

In Delta of Venus Anais Nin penned a lush, magical world where the characters of her imagination possess the most universal of desires and exceptional of talents. Among these provocative stories, a Hungarian adventurer seduces wealthy women then vanishes with their money; a veiled woman selects strangers from a chic restaurant for private trysts; and a Parisian hatmaker named Mathilde leaves her husband for the opium dens of Peru. This is an extraordinarily rich and exotic collection from the master of erotic writing.

Anais Nin's writing style is at once impassioned, direct and unambiguous. While she leaves no doubt in the reader's mind just what is going on, her countless love scenes are imbued with so much warmth and dignity that one could scarcely find them offensive. But most importantly, Anais understood that sex is nothing without emotion, and it's the emotions of her myriad characters that cause the reader to turn happily florid with every page. She understood that while sex is not to be taken lightly, it's certainly not something to be restrained, either.

Lastly, of all the locales depicted in this collection of stories, she lends a special affection to Paris. One could presume that of all of Anais' lovers, the City of Light was the dearest to her heart, to wit: "At five I always felt shivers of sensuality, shared with the sensual Paris. As soon as the light faded, it seemed to me that every woman I saw was running to meet her lover, that every man was running to meet his mistress." and "But we were enjoying an orgasm, as couples do in doorways and under bridges at night all over Paris."

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