There were always in me, two women at least,
one woman desperate and bewildered,
who felt she was drowning and another who
would leap into a scene, as upon a stage,
conceal her true emotions because they
were weaknesses, helplessness, despair,
and present to the world only a smile,
an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest.
What I like best about myself ..is my audacity,
my courage. The ways I have found to be true to
myself without causing too much pain or damage..
What I hate so much is my vanity, my need to shine,
my need of applause and my sentimentality. I would
like to be harder. I cannot make a joke, make fun
of anyone, without feeling regrets.
Anais Nin, 1903-1977
Writer and diarist, born in Paris, of a Catalan father and a Danish mother, Anais spent many of her formative years with Cuban relatives. Later a naturalized American citizen, she lived and worked in Paris, New York and Los Angeles. Author of avant-garde novels in the French surrealistic style, she is best known for her life and times in The Diary of Anais Nin, Vols. I-VII. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1966-1980; and The Early Diaries of Anais Nin, Vol. I-IV. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978-1985.