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Besides her famous diaries and erotica, Anaïs Nin (1903-1977) is known for her inspirational and insightful quotations. When one googles “Anaïs Nin quotes,” more than 21,000 websites appear, making her one of the most oft-quoted authors on the web. This alone is reason enough to collect her most popular and meaningful quotations into one book, but there is another as well: the inaccuracies and misinformation which frequently occur in our cut-and-paste internet culture.
The Quotable Anaïs Nin rectifies these errors by taking each quotation word for word directly from its source and accurately citing it. If a quotation found on the web does not exist in Nin’s work, it is not included here, which means some popular sayings attributed to Nin are absent. Examples of this include the poem “Risk,” which begins with “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud…” and “Good things happen to those who hustle.” Not only do these quotations not belong to Nin, their authors have been verified as Elizabeth Appell and Chuck Noll, respectively. There are probably dozens of other misattributed “Nin quotes” floating around the web.
The contents of The Quotable Anaïs Nin are divided into general themes that reflect the general characteristics of Nin’s writing: lust for life, love and sensuality, consciousness, men and women, and writing and art. Within each category, the quotations are arranged and numbered according to the title of their sources. Quotations from Nin’s unpublished diaries are cited as “unpublished diary, 1948,” etc. The novels included in Cities of the Interior are cited using the pagination from the collection, not the individually published novels.
When quotations appear in more than one source, the following protocol is used: the quote from the earliest source is used unless the wording in a newer source is more widely known. For example, in the original handwritten diary of the 1940s, Nin wrote, “Life shrinks in proportion to one’s courage,” which appears in Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1939-1947 (published in 2013). During the editing process for the third volume of The Diary of Anaïs Nin (published in 1969), Nin changed the wording to “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage,” which is the most recognizable version and, therefore, the one used here.
The Quotable Anaïs Nin is not only a useful reference book, it is also a source of thought-provoking and stimulating quotations, one for each day of the year. The fact that this book is digitally searchable will surely enhance its value to readers and scholars alike.