Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Nin Diaries

Listening to Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac this morning, I learned today is the birthday of erotic writer and diarist Anaïs Nin. As Keillor said, "she is best known for her diaries, which she began writing at age 11 and continued for more than 60 years - and which include accounts of her passionate love affair with Henry Miller in Paris. Anaïs Nin said, 'We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.'"

In one of her diaries, Nin wrote of Lili St. Cyr:

"Great admiration for Lili Saint Cyr. Women should learn from her. She does not express the narcissistic self-eroticism of stripteasers, she conveys the presence of the man, an expression of contact with the man. She uses her body with enormous grace and skill, to invite, to expose, to suggest, to respond, but it is always a gift, an offering. She is a great artist. She is never vulgar. The common men do not like her. ... Women should study with her. She is an artist in erotic lore. ... She stands apart. She does not make up or dress like other stripteasers. In one act she takes a bath. In another she tests her seduction before a painting of a Spanish matador. The man is always present, so it is charged with currents which flow out and around the audience."

1 comment:

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