Anaïs Nin was born in Paris on February 21, 1903, the oldest child of musicians Joaquin Nin and Rosa Culmell-Nin. Her parents’ marriage was turbulent, and in 1913, Joaquin Nin deserted his family at Archachon, France. The following year, Rosa Culmell-Nin transported her daughter and two sons, Thorvald and Joaquin, to the United States. For some years, they lived in New York City and in Queens, actively participating in the lively Cuban community there, many of whose members were musicians. Nin has recorded this period of her life in Linotte. What stands out most poignantly is her inconsolable grief at the loss of her father and her intense worship of her mother. At this time, Nin’s aspiration to become an artist of one sort or another strongly manifested itself, and her account of her adolescence is a rich study of the formative years of an artist.
In 1918, Nin left school to manage the household for her mother, who worked for Lord and Taylor as a special buyer for the Cuban clientele, and in 1923, Nin married Hugh P. Guiler (known as an engraver and filmmaker under the name of Ian Hugo). As a young married woman, Nin lived in France. Marriage caused her to experience intense conflicts, which she has described and analyzed in her diary. During those years, as in adolescence, Nin continued to write, and in 1932, she published her first book, D. H. Lawrence. This work brought about the explosive friendship with June and Henry Miller that she describes in the first published diary. Nin and Miller maintained a relationship until Nin’s death.
In Paris during the 1930’s, Nin embarked upon a lifelong devotion to psychotherapy. Her therapeutic relationship with the renowned Viennese psychoanalyst Otto Rank is recounted in the first volume of The Diary of Anaïs Nin. An independent, original, and forceful thinker whose special area of interest was the artist, Rank was of great assistance...
(The entire section is 792 words.)