Anais Nin Quotes and Sayings
#1-2 The Diary Of Anais Nin, Volume 2 (1934-1939)
1. You cannot save people, you can only love them.
2. Someday I’ll be locked up for love insanity. “She loved too much.”
#3 February 1947, The Diary of Anaïs Nin Volume 4 (1944-1947), p. 185
3. Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It creates the failures. 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.
#4 Quoted in The Anaïs Nin Blog
4. Do not seek the because – in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.
#5-6 Diary entries, February, 1932
5. The truly faithless one is the one who makes love to only a fraction of you. And denies the rest.
6. We don’t have a language for the senses. Feelings are images, sensations are like musical sounds.
#7 Diary entries, 18 June 1934
7. No one but a woman in love ever sees the maximum of men’s greatness.
#8 Diary entries, 21 October 1934
8. Love is the axis and breath of my life. The art I produce is a byproduct, an excrescence of love, the song I sing, the joy which must explode, the overabundance — that is all!
#9 Spy in House of Love
9. The enemy of a love is never outside, it’s not a man or woman, it’s what we lack in ourselves.
Excerpt from Wikipedia: Anaïs Nin (born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell) (February 21, 1903, Neuilly-sur-Seine – January 14, 1977) was a French author who became famous for her published journals, which span more than 60 years, beginning when she was 11 years old and ending shortly before her death. Nin is also famous for her erotica.
Anaïs Nin Sayings
#1 Attributed in Living on Purpose: Straight Answers to Universal Questions, 2000, Dan Millman
1. And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
#2-6 The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 2 1934-1939
2. … dreams are necessary of life; and you know not all our dreams are holy, are they, you had some which were not so holy, our dreams are not holy but that does not hurt or change the fundamental soul …
3. If all of us acted in unison as I act individually there would be no wars and no poverty. I have made myself personally responsible for the fate of every human being who has come my way.
4. 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.
5. People living deeply have no fear of death.
6. I have so strong a sense of creation, of tomorrow, that I cannot get drunk, knowing I will be less alive, less well, less creative the next day.
#7 Quoted here
7. I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.
#8 The Novel of the Future, 1969
8. We are beginning to see the influence of dream upon reality and reality upon dream.
#9 Children of the Albatross, 1947
9. In the world of the dreamer there was solitude: all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living. They took place in solitude.
#10 Quoted in The Mirror and the Garden: Realism and Reality in the Writings of Anais Nin, 1971, Evelyn J. Hinz, p. 40
10. 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.
#11 Diary entries, 6 March 1936
11. To withhold from living is to die … the more you give of yourself to life the more life nourishes you.
#12 Quoted in French Writers of the Past, 2000, Carol A. Dingle, p. 126
12. Life shrinks or expands according to one’s courage.
#13 Quoted in A Woman’s Journal: A Blank Book with Quotes by Women, 2002, Running Press Staff, p. 1932
13. Living never wore one out so much as the effort not to live.
#14-15 The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Volume 5, quoted in Moving to Antarctica: An Anthology of Women’s Writing, 1975, Margaret Kaminski
14. The role of the writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.
15. I would say that compassion for our parents is the true sign of maturity.
#16 The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 1 1931-1934
16. Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it.
#17 The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 4 1944-1947
17. When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow.
#18-19 February 1954 The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Volume 5, quoted in Woman as Writer, 1978, Jeannette L. Webber and Joan Grumman, p. 38
18. When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others.
19. Why one writes is a question I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art.
#20 Quoted in French Writers of the Past, 2000, Carol A. Dingle, p. 127
20. The poet is one who is able to keep the fresh vision of the child alive.
#21 Diary entries, 25 March 1933
21. 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.
#22 Diary entries, November, 1933
22. 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.
#23 Diary entries, March 1937
23. 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.
#24 The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 5 1947-1955
24. How wrong it is for woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than set out to create it herself.
#25 Diary entries, 15 February 1936
25. Experience teaches acceptance of the imperfect as life.
#26 Quoted in D. H. Lawrence and Nine Women Writers, 1996, Leo Hamalian, p. 93
26. Life is so fluid that one can only hope to capture the living moment, to capture it alive and fresh … without destroying that moment.
Unsourced Quotes attributed to Anais Nin
1. Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.
2. 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.
3. Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat.
4. Had I not created my whole world, I would certainly have died in other people’s.
5. We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
6. Don’t let one cloud obliterate the whole sky.
7. 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 withering, of tarnishing.
8. Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.