[ilds] Nin, Durrell, Miller

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Fri Feb 26 13:27:26 PST 2016

Interesting exchange between Herron and Pine, which highlights the difference between public and private relationships.

I recommend Richard Pine’s previous commentary on the “three musketeers”:  His “The End of Our Romantic Life:  The Psychic Hinterland of Nin, Durrell and Miller” in A Café in Space:  The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal, 3 (2005), 5-16.  Also, the current issue of Café in Space is well worth reading.


> On Feb 25, 2016, at 1:09 PM, Sky Blue Press <skybluepress at skybluepress.com> wrote:
> Sure, Anais Nin's popularity has diminished since the height of her fame,
> but we overlook one of the biggest reasons: she is no longer around to
> inspire in person. It was her persona that drew so many, along with the
> work. Now it is up to the rest of us to carry on. I, for one, can only
> continue to edit and publish her work and let it into the world where it
> will either sink or swim--but it at least has a chance. I do so because I
> believe it is valuable and still speaks to the open-minded and open-hearted.
> The feedback I get encourages me. I have to add that awareness of and
> respect for her work, her insight into her own difficulties and her struggle
> to overcome them, a lifelong endeavor, is increasing. There are a lot of new
> fans buying her work. An article in The Guardian last year called Nin the
> queen of the internet, something she most likely would have loved. A
> documentary on her was done in the UK, and there is buzz about a series on
> HBO which may use her diaries as a guide for production. So perhaps we are
> making a difference in some small way. 
> I am used to resistance to her work (or should I say life?) in the ILDS--my
> first conference in 1998, whose theme was The Paris of Durrell, Miller and
> Nin, found us in empty rooms for the Nin sessions, countering verbal
> attacks, especially of the "morality" type, and Carol Peirce bemoaned the
> "castigation" of Nin during a plenary session. That said, I feel the
> attitudes were changing for the better during subsequent conferences, at
> least among a certain number within the organization. I'm not complaining,
> it's just the way it is, or was. Regarding the New York Times' history of
> bashing of Nin, I would recommend reading Jessica Gilbey's contribution to A
> Café in Space, vol. 13. She sheds some light on where it comes from. The
> article was drawn from her Ph.D. thesis on Nin.
> Paul 
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2016 21:14:48 +0000
> From: mail at durrelllibrarycorfu.org
> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
> Subject: Re: [ilds] ILDS Digest, Vol 106, Issue 12
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>> From reading the biographies, the various editions of the Nin diaries, and
> other correspondence etc, and from personal testimony, I appreciate that,
> although there was a shared aesthetic camaraderie between Nin, LDurrell and
> H Miller, there were huge personal differences. LD bitchily said (both in
> print and to me personally) that he was the only man he knew who hadn't been
> bedded by Nin. They had a short war over one of her books, and the
> friendship (if it was ever that) was never as intense or meaningful as that
> of LD with Miller, with whom also LD fell out - but only briefly, over
> It's been well documented that in Paris LD deliberately discounted Nancy in
> order to impress the others, and maybe to ingratiate himself, but I think
> (this is my personal view) that however much he vaunted Nin publicly (and
> his account of the 3 of them 'on the grandes lignes' as he wrote to me and
> as I published it, was genuine) he never liked her as a person and I don't
> think his private opinion of her work was as strong as he publicly
> pretended. Maybe his personal dislike/distrust of her coloured his view of
> her writing.
> As to Nin's public reputation, she could certainly appear unpleasant,
> scheming, devious and duplicitous. But one cannot (in my opinion) disregard
> the imprtance of SOME of her work, especially the early stuff. but the
> various editions of the diary, both during her lifetime and posthumously,
> have revealed an aspect that would deter many from taking her seriously. A
> pity - a fine talent, in emotional terms and in terms of her perceptions,
> even her storytelling (as evidenced by her written-to-order pornography)
> which was unfortunately coloured by her personal problems which I think
> attracted many women to her work at the height of the feminist resurgence
> and has since been diminished by, for example, the fact that she kept 2
> husbands on either side of the USA each of whom (we are led to believe) was
> ignorant of the other. Maybe a man would applaud another man who managed to
> be bigamous in such a way. Such, as Ned Kelly said, is life.
> RP

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