A Woman Speaks: The Lectures, Seminars and Interviews of Anaïs Nin

Anaïs Nin

“You must not fear or hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and your feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to receive, to nourish yourself, and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow. Allow for the rise in temperature and all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess. Great art was born of great terror, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.”


“As long as we expect the changes to come only from the outside or from political systems, then we are bound to feel helpless, to feel sometimes that reality is bigger and stronger than we are. But if suddenly we begin to feel that there is one person we can change simultaneously we change many people around us…

I’m talking about equalizing the pressure between outer actions and events which are shattering and devastating to us and then the place we recompose and reconstruct ourselves, where finally achieve what Jung called the second birth. The second birth we are entirely responsible for; it’s a self-creation. This second birth is the one that you can make, and the discovery of that to me was always a great relief.”


“...it is as important for us to step out of history as it is for us to live to within it. We have to step out of it in order to find the strength with which to participate in it, and which to live in it, and with which to achieve what I was finally able to achieve in the later diaries, which is a refusal to despair. This has meant creativity on the one hand and relationship on the other–the obsession with establishing intimate contact, with friendship, with every form of relationship to man, woman, child, to people close to us and to people in other countries.”

Further Reading

Anaïs Nin - The Diary of Anaïs Nin

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