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Anais Nin - The Diaries (Excerpts)

Anais Nin - The Diaries (Excerpts)

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Published by Axel Bo

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Published by: Axel Bo on Oct 07, 2012
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The Diaries of Anais Nin
The Early Diary of Anais Nin: Volume One ("Linotte") 1914-1920 published by Harcourt Brace
 
Hope you enjoy reading these excerpts from Linotte. UPDATED JUNE 13TH 2000. NEW EXCERPTS THROUGHOUT EACH YEAR!!!!! Anais Nin Club Anais Nin BOOK OF THE MONTHreading for JUNE/JULY;LINOTTE
 August 11, 1914.~~~"Impressions of Arrival InNew York"
We were all dressed and on deck. It was 2 o'clock and one could vaguely see acity, but very far away. The sea was gray and heavy. How different from thebeautiful sea of Spain! I was anxious to arrive, but I was sad.I felt a chill around my heart and I was seeing things all wrong.Suddenly we were wrapped in a thick fog. A torrential rain began to fall, thunderrumbled, lightning flashes lit the heavy black sky. The people promptly tookrefuge in the lounge. None of the Spanish passengers had ever seen weather likethat, so the frightened women wept,the men prayed in low tones. We were notafraid.Maman had seen many storms and her calmness reassured us. We were the firstto go back up on the wet deck. But the fog continued and we waited.It was 4 o'clock when the ship began to move again, slowly, as though she ap-proached the great city with fear. Now, leaning on the railing, I couldn't hearanything. My eyes were fixed on the lights that drew closer, I saw the tall build-ings, I heard the whistling of the engine, I saw a great deal of movement. Hugebuildings went by in front of me. I hated those buildings in advance because theyhid what I love most--flowers, birds, fields, liberty.Maman came up to me and took me for a walk, whispering in my ear the wonder-ful things I was going to see. But although I admire New York for its progress, Ihate it, I find it superficial. I saw it as an ugly prison. Maman was still walking,but seeing that I wasn't paying the slightest attention, she didn't talk to me any-more, but her eyes looked worried. my head felt heavy, my heart seemed fullenough to burst, I felt sad and unhappy.I envy those who never leave their native land. I wanted to cry my eyes out.Maman went away again and again I leaned on the railing and filled my lungswith the pure evening air. It was growing dark, we were arriving, and I had tocome out of my sad reverie. I cast a last glance around me at this last bit of Spain, which seemed to have wanted to accompany me this far, to remind me of my promise that I would return. Inside myself I answered, Oh, yes, I shall returnto Spain.Maman led me away and i set foot on land. The earth was burning hot. I wokeup. People were running, shouting and waving. I found myself on a large quay. Ikissed Godmother, Rafael, Carlos, and Coquito, who had come to meet us. UncleGilbert arrived soon after. They desided that Thorvald and I would spend thenight at Aunt Antolina's and the next day we would rejoin Maman and Joaquinito,who were going to Aunt Eldemira's.
 
 The night went quite well. Before going to bed, I resigned myself to not feelingsad about New York, to keep still and keep my thoughts against this country tomyself. Only I am indiscreet and I have told my diary everything. You wont sayanything, will you, if I tell you that I hate New York and that I find it too big, toosuperficial, everything goes too fast. It is just
hell
.
Linotte: 1914-1920
 July 29 1914 The Cathedra
 The first thing I saw was a large door supporting two life-size angels on two col-umns. A priest guided us through the church. The gilded silver altar was verylarge indeed. In front of it, on an antique table built entirely of oak was a hugebook, a very old bible. Great beams everywhere in every nook and cranny of thealtar. At one moment, when I had lagged a little behind, it became very dark. Itwas impressive and I felt as though I were in an ancient castle, but all thoseideas flew away when maman called me. After crossing several galleries support-ed by beams and columns carved Latin scripture, the priest led us down a darklittle staircase. We went down, not without risk of breaking our necks, and foundourselves in something like a walled dungeon. A shudder chilled my blood. Thepriest explained that this room was dug twelve feet below the sea, his voice re-sounding loudly amid those gigantic walls.Next he led us into the wall; at the back a 200-year old crucifix dominated thecave. The priest showed us three graves of preists and a bishop. Then he led usfarther on to where the wall was entirely made up of holes that were used astombs. He showed us a Virgin sculpted out of a single block of stone, very beau-tiful. The priest guided us toward a little staircase which we climbed, opened alarge door to a kind of sacristy, but very big. He spoke a word to another preist,who opened a wardrobe and took out a huge bunch of keys. He opened anotherbig wardrobe where we could see a magnificent minitiare altar, 18 inches high,all in gold. The cross was made of pearl mixed with gold thread, a marvel. The priest locked the wardrobe carefully and opened another, in which we couldadmire a magnificent gold chalice set with pearls and with a big emerald in thecenter. What wealth! After closing that wardrobe, he opened another where weadmired the hilt of a sword that had belonged to a king of Spain. Maman then re-marked,"Here you are able to preserve these things because the churches havenever been pillaged, but in France all the relics were burned and looted." It'strue, my poor country expelled her priests, her nuns, threw out everything, ev-erything. I blush to think of it. For the first time France committed an act of which I shall always be ashamed. No, I don't mean France, but her people, whoreally were not the French people but proud, envious, evil-minded, selfish peoplewho joined together under the name of the French people.A Frenchman could never have had a dishonorable idea like that of driving outpriests and nuns who only did good. No, no, I repeat, they were not French.
 August 1 1914
I am eleven years old, I know, and I am not serious enough. Last night I said tomyself: tomorrow I will be good. Good? I wasn't any better than I was the day be-fore. Now here is a new month, and I haven't yet thought out how to be moresensible, how to master my impulses and my temper. I am ashamed to be so
 
undisciplined. I hereby resolve that with God's help I will be more reasonable. To-day the day is nearly over and it isn't much, but for the rest of the day I will ob-serve silence. Not talk, but answer politely. Not seek out conversation, but workon my shawl, which must be finished at least by day after tomorrow.
 August 2 1914
It is evening, I have been lost in contemplation and here is all my achievement:
The moon, my visions
 The moon shines, the stars come out, a soft breeze caresses my meditation. Onthe right, one still sees the setting sun showing itself humbly behind the moon,which now rules the heavens. Finally the sun disappears altogether and then themoon, shining still more brightly, proudly ascends the throne of the sun. I greetyou, Madam, the stars seem to say.
October 16 1914
ADream by AnaisOne day at my window, where I had so often wept and where so many bittertears had fallen, I saw the one I love, the one I adore, suddenly appear. Full of love, I rushed into the arms that were stretched out toward me. Oh, what joy!Oh, happiness! I can't believe it! That day I knew the happiness of my father'skiss.
October 18 1914
How happy I am! I took Communion this morning and I have Jesus in my heart,so I feel very calm. I had lunch, prayed again, and here I am. I shall stop fornow...It is late, everything is quiet, and in this silence I come to entrust mythoughts to my faithful confidant. I have thought deeply about the happinessthat some children must feel having their father and mother near them. Thismorning at Communion I saw a father and a mother with a little girl of about six,all three taking Communion. Why can I not have my father with me as well? Whycan I not have the joy of Communion together with Papa and Maman?Alas, how long it has been makes me weep many times. Today I thought about iteven more deeply and my Communion was just for Papa. For a long time I re-peated Papa, Maman. What sweet words! But afterward the truth came to meand my heart wept, wept. No one but God knows my bitter sorrow. My dreamsare always about Papa. He comes back, I kiss him, he presses me to his heart. That moment is sweet, but afterward sadness comes again with the truth and myheart weeps and weeps again. Tonight I am sadder than ever and my sorrow isgreater still. I am too sad to continue.
November 15 1914
Each time I take Communion the thought of Papa becomes sadder and I don'tknow why. Last night I dreamed that I recieved a letter from Papa in which hesaid: I am coming. Oh, if it were true! What happiness, I would be the happiestgirl in the world. I write to Papa and always ask him to come. I keep hoping andperhaps he will come. At the moment of Communion, it seems more as though Iam kissing and hugging Papa, rather than recieving the body of Christ. That mo-ment is sweet. I am tired of saying to Papa, I send you a big hug. I would like to

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