100 (Intimate and Insightful) Anaïs Nin Quotes
Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell (1903 – 1977), known professionally as Anaïs Nin, was an American diarist, novelist, essayist, and writer of short stories and erotica. Although Nin spent some time in France, Spain and Cuba, she lived most of her life in the United States, where she became an established author. Anaïs Nin started writing journals when she was eleven and continued prolifically for six decades up until her death. The published journals provide a deeply explorative insight into her personal life and relationships. Nin was acquainted, often quite intimately, with a number of prominent authors, artists, psychoanalysts, and other figures, and wrote of them often. Moreover, as a female author describing a primarily masculine constellation of celebrities, Nin’s journals have acquired importance as a counterbalancing perspective.
In addition to her journals, Nin wrote several critical studies, novels, short stories, essays, and volumes of erotica. Much of her work was published posthumously amid renewed critical interest in her life and work. The explosion of the feminist movement in the 1960s offered new feminist perspectives on Nin’s writings, which made her a popular lecturer at various universities; however, she chose to disassociate herself from the political activism of the movement. Spanning decades, Anaïs Nin’s honest and explicit accounts of her private life went where no other women authors would at the time — and her bold and intimate voice, charged with deep insights about life, love, growth, and fulfillment, brought her late recognition as one of the great writers of the 20th century.
Short Anaïs Nin Quotes
- Stories do not end.
- The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.
- Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
- I hate men who are afraid of women’s strength.
- Good things happen to those who hustle.
- Luxury is not a necessity to me, but beautiful and good things are.
- We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.
- I write emotional algebra.
- People living deeply have no fear of death.
- I wanted to remember in order to be able to return.
- You cannot save people. You can only love them.
- I am aware of being in a beautiful prison, from which I can only escape by writing.
- I want to make my own discoveries… penetrate the evil which attracts me
- The obstacle became his alibi for weakness.
- What I cannot love, I overlook.
- In chaos, there is fertility.
- Creation which cannot express itself becomes madness.
- When one is pretending, the entire body revolts.
- Passion gives me moments of wholeness.
Photo by James Garcia
Inspirational Anaïs Nin Quotes
- The secret of joy is the mastery of pain.
- I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.
- The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
- I reserve the right to love many different people at once, and to change my prince often.
- Dreams are necessary to life.
- Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.
- I am lonely, yet not everybody will do. I don’t know why, some people fill the gaps and others emphasize my loneliness. In reality those who satisfy me are those who simply allow me to live with my idea of them.
- The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.
- I can elect something I love and absorb myself in it.
- Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it.
- Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.
- I take pleasure in my transformations. I look quiet and consistent, but few know how many women there are in me.
- How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?
- I don’t really want to become normal, average, standard. I want merely to gain in strength, in the courage to live out my life more fully, enjoy more, experience more. I want to develop even more original and more unconventional traits .
- There are many ways to be free. One of them is to transcend reality by imagination, as I try to do.
- When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others.
- I will not be just a tourist in the world of images, just watching images passing by which I cannot live in, make love to, possess as permanent sources of joy and ecstasy.
- Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity, and stumble from defeat to defeat.
- We do not escape into philosophy, psychology, and art ― we go there to restore our shattered selves into whole ones.
Funny Anaïs Nin Quotes
- Had I not created my whole world, I would certainly have died in other people’s.
- Someone told me the delightful story of the crusader who put a chastity belt on his wife and gave the key to his best friend for safekeeping, in case of his death. He had ridden only a few miles away when his friend, riding hard, caught up with him, saying ‘You gave me the wrong key!
- I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.
Cynical Anaïs Nin Quotes
- I am only responsible for my own heart, you offered yours up for the smashing my darling. Only a fool would give out such a vital organ
- Societies in decline have no use for visionaries.
- In my childhood diary I wrote: I have decided that it is better not to love anyone, because when you love people, then you have to be separated from them, and that hurts too much.
- Analysis is for those who are paralyzed by life.
- When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons.
- I’m sick of my own romanticism.
- Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself.
- I am like a snake who has already bitten. I retreat from a direct battle while knowing the slow effect of the poison.
- Since desire always goes towards that which is our direct opposite, it forces us to love that which will make us suffer.
Photo by Chad Madden
Insightful Anaïs Nin Quotes
- Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.
- We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
- Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
- Physical experiences, lacking the joys of love, depend on twists and perversions of pleasure. Abnormal pleasures kill the taste for normal ones.
- Sometimes we reveal ourselves when we are least like ourselves.
- There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.
- When others asked the truth of me, I was convinced it was not the truth they wanted, but an illusion they could bear to live with.
- The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.
- Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.
- She lacks confidence, she craves admiration insatiably. She lives on the reflections of herself in the eyes of others. She does not dare to be herself.
- I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live.
- Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terror, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.
- Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together.
- We are going to the moon that is not very far. Man has so much farther to go within himself.
- The enemy of a love is never outside, it’s not a man or a woman, it’s what we lack in ourselves.
- Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.
- Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous.
- It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.
Photo by Al Martin
Poetic Anaïs Nin Quotes
- Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together.
- Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.
- I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.
- What can I do with my happiness? How can I keep it, conceal it, bury it where I may never lose it? I want to kneel as it falls over me like rain, gather it up with lace and silk, and press it over myself again.
- If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.
Photo by Joshua Harris
- The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison, was the miracle.
- We are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them.
- Everything with me is either worship and passion or pity and understanding. I hate rarely, though when I hate, I hate murderously.
- I prefer by far the warmth and softness to mere brilliancy and coldness. Some people remind me of sharp dazzling diamonds. Valuable but lifeless and loveless. Others, of the simplest field flowers, with hearts full of dew and with all the tints of celestial beauty reflected in their modest petals.
- We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
- If what Proust says is true, that happiness is the absence of fever, then I will never know happiness. For I am possessed by a fever for knowledge, experience, and creation.
- This diary is my kief, hashish and opium pipe. This is my drug and my vice.
- I’m awaiting a lover. I have to be rent and pulled apart and live according to the demons and the imagination in me. I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.
- The monster I kill every day is the monster of realism. The monster who attacks me every day is destruction. Out of the duel comes the transformation. I turn destruction into creation over and over again.
- The body is an instrument which only gives off music when it is used as a body. Always an orchestra, and just as music traverses walls, so sensuality traverses the body and reaches up to ecstasy.
Romantic Anaïs Nin Quotes
- If I love you it means we share the same fantasies, the same madnesses.
- Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.
- To think of him in the middle of the day lifts me out of ordinary living.
- You don’t find love, it finds you. It’s got a little bit to do with destiny, fate, and what’s written in the stars.
- Do not seek the because ― in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.
- There are two ways to reach me: by way of kisses or by way of the imagination. But there is a hierarchy: the kisses alone don’t work.
- Our love of each other was like two long shadows kissing without hope of reality.
- The truly faithless one is the one who makes love to only a fraction of you. And denies the rest.
Photo by Allef Vinicius
- I sat there for three hours and did not feel the time or the boredom of our talk and its foolish disconnection. As long as I could hear his voice, I was quite lost, quite blind, quite outside my own self.
- He was now in that state of fire that she loved. She wanted to be burnt.
- For you and for me the highest moment, the keenest joy, is not when our minds dominate but when we lose our minds, and you and I both lose it in the same way, through love.
- When your beauty struck me, it dissolved me. Deep down, I am not different from you. I dreamed you, I wished for your existence. I see in you that part of me which is you. I surrender my sincerity because if I love you it means we share the same fantasies, we share the same madness.
Long Anaïs Nin Quotes
- We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.
- Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.
- There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.
- From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life.
- I disregard the proportions, the measures, the tempo of the ordinary world. I refuse to live in the ordinary world as ordinary women. To enter ordinary relationships. I want ecstasy. I am a neurotic — in the sense that I live in my world. I will not adjust myself to the world. I am adjusted to myself.