Ladders to Fire: The Authoritative Edition

Anais Nin Quote
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Paperback Editions

And so today this was Bruce rescuing Bruce, or Bruce rescuing Pan in himself. At first the painting turned its luminous face to her, but as he proceeded down the hill she saw him behind the painting in dungarees and a thick white sweater. She saw a group of firefighters below; she saw the expression on their faces as the painting walked towards them, as they saw first of all a naked Pan with faunish ears, a walking painting with feet, and then the apparition of the same figure dressed in everyday costume upholding its twin, duplicate half-smile, duplicate hands; and they looked startled and puzzled, as if it were superfluous to rescue a mere reproduction of an original.

In the unpublished diaries from the s, there are several examples of their discourse:. I said to Gonzalo: He talked to me for a whole evening about the activity of the microbes. Coming home we saw lovers sitting in Washington Square. You escaped a big scene! And slept with his hand on my leg. He takes it on the bus as soon as the deliveries are paralyzed after the Spanish revolution.

There is no room in the crowded bus. He is sent up to the top. It is raining hard. He is getting soaked. He decides to get into the coffin and cover himself. More people come to sit on the top of the bus. They sit with their backs against the coffin. The man inside of the coffin listens to their conversation, gets bored, lifts the top of the coffin, sits up and says: Was nervous about it, being told it might be for Vogue. Wrote it lightly but Robert and Hugo thought it was not light enough. Robert took it up to make it humorous. I was sad…not to be able to be flippant. Start on me if you wish.

Make fun of me. Special thanks goes to Rebecca anaisnin on Twitter for inspiring this post. These days many things get by under the banner of complexity and super-sensitivity; artiness and obscurantism, as always, are sometimes disguises for second-rate talents. When it comes to modern literature you show yourself to be almost totally illiterate. You cannot decipher the simplest facts and resort to distortions.

Ladders to Fire

You see a book full of pale, weak young men when there is only one of them and he plays a minor role. The rest of the men are more than full length, ruddy, lusty characters. Jay is big, healthy, joyous. Djuna, you say, also has trouble with various men, but Djuna has no relationship to any man in the book. No pale weak men appear at the party. Nowhere in the book can you find that Sabina represents modern woman. The men in the book are in fact powerful and self confident. You must be one of the pale weak young men of our times to identify so exaggeratedly with one of the minor characters.

Not only did Nin berate Lyons, but Gore Vidal who was an editor for Dutton at the time, and, since he promoted Nin to his superiors, may have had self-interest in mind lambasted him with his own diatribe:. I consider his attack on her work absurd, irresponsible, and an excellent example of sloppy reviewing.

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Since Anais Nin is a literary figure of considerable stature, I wish to come to her defense and to examine the Lyons review. It is certainly healthy to disagree on the merits of a writer. Lyons might very well be on the right side, but he has not, certainly, proven his case. He has written an emotional and inaccurate review, bristling with antagonism and not much else. It is sad for authors to read reviews like his; one has the feeling that books can be reviewed by anyone, that reputations can stand or fall on the opinion of some near-illiterate with an axe in need of grinding. When Nin wrote The Winter of Artifice , which Miller helped her edit, she was still his lover and in need of his guidance in both personal and professional matters.

It makes for a fascinating comparison when one is read in conjunction with the other. When she realizes the disconnect between her and her husband, she meets another famous Nin character, Djuna, who, as an orphan, was starved for love and affections but has developed a strong and compassionate personality.

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Both women are involved with Jay, a bohemian painter. It would not be rash to say that the two female characters represent aspects of Nin that reacted to Henry Miller in very different ways. This marks a very shift in approach and severely changes the balance between the characters. It also could mean that Nin had changed her feelings towards June Miller a decade after their famous blow-up recorded in Henry and June. The new Kindle version of Ladders to Fire correctly retains the present day version of the novel and is available from Amazon.

She put words to feelings and emotions I did not know could be described, or that they ever existed at all beyond the inside's of my own chest. Having gone through Anais Nin's diaries several times I'm now into the novels. They have the same brilliant prose, but, being more contrived they are not as satisfying. They are, however, a good read and worth the time and effort. What's fun for me in these novels is to see how she takes characteristics of herself and people she knows to construct her fictional characters.

In essense these are games of mix and match with people one already knows, coupled with long philosophical disquisitions on their characters and problems. Truly Nin created a brilliant volume of work in her lifetime. And for a guy they go a long way toward answering Freud's question, "What do women want? In twists and wends that surprise and fascinate and make much of what passes as a bestseller today trite, soft and forgettable by comparrison. Perhaps it's impossible for writing like this to survive in the pop age of characters or less. We're richer that books like this exist.

I have to say that I only started reading Anais Nin because of Henry Miller, but that probably can be said for most. After reading "Tropic of Cancer" about ten years ago I had to read Miller's muse, so I picked up Nin's "Delta of Venus" in a used book store and devoured it. I read "Tropic of Capricorn" and had to keep up the tradition by reading this book.

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Nin is amazingly poetic in her verse and it makes me want to lock myself in the house and read the rest of the books in this "continuous novel". Every character leaps from the page and I feel like I have known their counterparts at one point in my life. Nin made each character a shattered part of herself or a part she wanted her self to be!

Here style made me more and more introspective with the addition of each new character. I can not wait to read more! Her writing flows like lava with a slow, languid pace that allows the reader to absorb it. One person found this helpful. I enjoyed the 5-part series a lot. I had high hopes for this book. I was very disappointed.


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He is lazy and selfish. I found it difficult to believe so many women wanted him. The opening descriptions of Lillian conveyed to me a vitality and presence. As the book goes on, it becomes evident she possesses neither. And what if he does: I will try to love him gaily, more easily and loosely". I always felt like the author was trying to say something without actually saying it.


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  5. The book had no flow. There was however a great line in the book: When my husband said "Lillian, let's be reasonable", it meant he had none of the feeling I had! See all 13 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published 1 month ago. Published 1 year ago. Published on November 7, Published on June 23, Published on October 21, Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Set up a giveaway. What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?

    Under a Glass Bell and Other Stories. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, Feedback If you need help or have a question for Customer Service, contact us. Would you like to report poor quality or formatting in this book? Click here Would you like to report this content as inappropriate? Click here Do you believe that this item violates a copyright? There's a problem loading this menu right now. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations.

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