Volume 9 of A Cafe in Space: The Anais Nin Literary Journal contains an excerpt from Anais Nin's unpublished 1950 diary in which she ponders her "trapeze life," the swinging back and forth across the continent between her New York husband Hugh Guiler and her California lover Rupert Pole. Also included are letters from Nin to Pole during this time which she used to create an illusion about her New York life, which she claimed was one of a career writing for various publications when, in fact, it was life as usual with Guiler. The degree of deception Nin used is astounding, and the effort she put into maintaining a lifestyle that for most would be impossible is legendary. Volume 9 contains articles relating to Nin's double life, including Kim Krizan's examination of the Nin-Pole relationship in 1953, 6 years after it had begun, entitled "Typical American Wife," which was how Nin viewed herself in California. Simon Dubois Boucheraud writes about Nin's "fake diary," which was begun in 1932 to trick Guiler into thinking Nin's relationship with Henry Miller was intellectual and not carnal. Several other articles by scholars across the globe highlight Nin's public persona, her fiction, and the work of her contemporaries, including Antonin Artaud and Lawrence Durrell. Poetry, reviews, and photography round out the issue.
Posted by Charles Steiner on 20th Mar 2013
From pages 82 to 114, the editor of "A Cafe in Space," Paul Herron, returns Anais Nin to her readers directly with two works, one entitled "The Tree and the Pillar," unpublished diary from 1950-1951, and "A Web of Lies," Nin's letters to Rupert Pole, 1950-1951. Just these pages alone are worth the price of this beautifully produced volume. For me, these two sections alone helped me understand that Nin was indeed a full-fledged Romanticist. Nin's wonderful writings here bring her right into hearth and home, ours and hers.
In addition, there are exquisite essays by several writers in the first 65 pages of this journal that examine Nin's journal for lies, contradictions, and life as a wife that do an especially good job of helping the reader come even closer to Nin's heart and home.
The essay by Kennedy Gammage on "The Characters in Durrell's Avignon Quintet - Real or Imaginary - or both?" was a particularly good tour-de-force and counter-balance to the stunning essays already mentioned examining Nin's life and lies at the opening the journal.
Finally, this volume contains a compelling poem by Steven Reigns who wonderfully and tastefully reveals the meaning of Nin's diaries for his life in a poem called " Anais Nin Never Bought a Car."
I tried to make this volume last the entire year, but I couldn't resist turning the pages. It ended far too soon. Thankfully, however, most of what this volume contains can be read again and deserves to be read again.
This volume is as good as volume number 7 (because there is a minimum of pretension and bull in the essay-offerings and there's a particular emphasis on Nin herse I lf and her wonderful writing), which I also reviewed here on Amazon. I did not review this volume in detail, particularly the sections of Anais Nin's own writings because I deplore spoiling the pleasure the prospective reader will discover in reading her words -- and the new insights she or he will gain.