Excerpts from the Diary of Anaïs Nin Vol. One 1931-1934 (buy online in print or digital) 1931-1934
Louveciennes resembles the village where Madame Bovary lived and died. It is old and untouched by modern life. It is built on a hill overlooking the Seine. On clear nights one can see Paris. It has an old church dominating a group of small houses, cobblestone streets, and several large properties, manor houses, a castle on the outskirts of the village. One of the properties belonged to Madame du Barry. During the revolution her lover was guillotined and his head thrown over the ivy-covered wall into her garden. This is now the property of Coty. There is a forest around in which the Kings of France once hunted. There is a very fat and very old miser who owes most of the properties of Louveciennes. He is one of Balzac's misers. He questions every expense, every repair, and always ends by letting his house deteriorate with rust, rain, weeds, leaks, cold. Behind the windows of the village houses old women sit watching people passing by. The street runs down unevenly towards the Seine. By the Seine there is a tavern and a restaurant. On Sundays people come from Paris and have lunch and take the rowboats down the Seine as Maupassant loved to do. The dogs bark at night. The garden smells of honeysuckle in the summer, of wet leaves in the winter. One hears the whistle of the small train from and to Paris. It is a train which looks ancient, as if it were still carrying the personages of Proust's novels to dine in the country. My house is two hundred years old. It has walls a yard thick, a big garden, a very large green iron gate for cars, flanked by a small green gate for people. The big garden is in the back of the house. In the front there is a gravel driveway, and a pool which is now filled with dirt and planted with ivy. The fountain emerges like the headstone of a tomb. The bell people pull sounds like a giant cowbell. It shakes and echoes a long time after it has been pulled. When it rings, the Spanish maid, Emilia, swings open the large gate and the car drives up the gravel path, making a crackling sound. There are eleven windows showing between the wooden trellis covered with ivy. One shutter was put there for symmetry only, but I often dream about this mysterious room which does not exist behind the closed shutter. Behind the house lies a vast wild tangled garden. I never liked formal gardens. At the very back is a wooden section with a small brook, a small bridge, overrun with ivy and moss and ferns.The day begins always with the sound of gravel crushed by the car. The shutters are pushed open by Emilia, and the day admitted. With the first crushing of the gravel under wheels comes the barking of the police dog, Banquo, and the carillion of the church bells. When I look at the large green iron gate from my window it takes on the air of a prison gate. An unjust feeling, since I know I can leave the place whenever I want to, and since I know that human beings place upon an object, or a person, this responsibility of being the obstacle when the obstacle lies always within one's self. In spite of this knowledge I often stand at the window staring at the large closed iron gate, as if hoping to obtain from this contemplation a reflection of my inner obstacles to a full, open life. No amount of oil can subdue its rheumatic creaks, for it takes a historical pride in its two-hundred year-old rust. But the little gate, with its overhanging ivy like disordered hair over a running child's forehead, has a sleepy and sly air, an air of being always open. I chose the house form many reasons. Because it seemed to have sprouted out of the Earth like a tree, so deeply grooved it was within the old garden. It had no cellar and the rooms rested right on the ground. Below the rug, I felt, was the earth. I could take root here, feel at one with the house and garden, take nourishment from them like the plants. The first thing did was to have the basin and fountain unearthed and restored. Then it seemed to me that the house came alive. The fountain was gay and sprightly. I had a sense of preparation for a love to come. Like the extensions of canopies, the unrolling of ceremonial carpets, as if I must first create a marvelous world in which to house it, in which to receive adequately this guest of honor. It is in this mood of preparation that I pass through the house, painting a wall through which stains of humidity show, hanging a lamp where it will throw Balinese shadow plays, draping a bed, placing logs in the fireplace. Every room is painted a different color. As if there were one room for every separate mood: lacquer red for vehemence, pale turquoise for reveries, peach color for gentleness, green for repose, gray for work at the typewriter. Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous. I want to be a writer who reminds others that these moments exist; I want to prove that there is infinite space, infinite meaning, infinite dimension. But I am not always in what I call a state of grace. I have days of illuminations and fevers. I have days when the music in my head stops. Then I mend socks, prune trees, can fruits, polish furniture. But while I am doing this, I feel I am not living. Unlike Madame Bovary, I am not going to take poison. I am not sure that being a writer will help me escape from Louveciennes.I have finished my book D.H. Lawrence: An unprofessional Study. I wrote it in sixteen days. I had to go to Paris, to present it to Edward Titus for publication. It will not be published and out by tomorrow, which is what a writer would like when the book is hot out of the oven, when it is alive within one's self. He gave it to his assistant to revise. As soon as I go to Paris too often, my mother looks disapprovingly out of her window, and does not wave good bye. She looks at times, the old woman who raise their curtains to stare at me when I take Banquo for a walk. My brother Joaquin plays the piano continuously as if he would melt the walls of the house. I take walks along the railroad tracks on bad days. But as I have never been able to read a timetable, I never walk here at the right time and I get tired before the train comes to deliver me from the difficulties of living, and I walk back home. Does this fascination for a possible accident come from the traumatic time when I missed such a death as a child? We had a servant in Neuilly (when I was two years old, and my brother Thorvald just born). My father must have seduced her and then forgotten her. Anyway, she sought revenge. She took me and my brother out on an outing and left the carriage, and me beside it, in the middle of the railroad track. But the signal gateman saw us, and has he had seven children of his own, he took a chance on his own life and rushed out in time to kick the carriage out of the way and carry me off in his arms. The event remained in our memory. I still remember the beds covered with toys for the seven children of the man who saved our lives. I am absorbed by Henry, who is unsure of himself, self-critical, sincere, and carries within him a great force. I am very busy loving. What does he need? Everything. He is almost a hobo. Sleeps anywhere, at a friend's house, a railroad station waiting room on a bench, in a movie house, in a park. He has hardly any clothes. They are not of his own. He is rewriting his first book (Crazy Cock). He lives from day to day, borrowing, begging, sponging. He wants a set of Proust. I add railroad tickets to them so that he can come and see me when he wants to. He has no type writer. So I give him mine. He likes big meals, so I cook sumptuous ones. I would like to give him a home, an income, security, so that he could work. Henry came again today. He talked about his second wife, June.June was full of stories. She told him several stories about her childhood, birthplace, parents, racial origins. Her first version was that her mother was a Roumanian gypsy, that she sang in cafés and told fortunes. Her father, she said, played the guitar. When they came to America, they opened a night club, mostly for Roumanians. It was a continuation of their life in Roumania. When Henry pressed for the truth, she began another story. We sit at the Viking Café. It is all of wood, low-ceilinged, and the walls are covered with murals of the Viking history. They serve strong drinks which Henry likes. The lighting is dim. One has a feeling of being on an old galleon, sailing Nordic seas. Henry arrives in a workman's suit one day, another time in Richard's discarded suit, which is too big for him. Henry is in love with Mona Paiva, a reigning courtesan of a hundred years ago whose photograph he found on the quays.Richard Osborne is a lawyer. He had to be consulted on the copyrights of my D.H. Lawrence book. He is trying to be both a bohemian and a lawyer for a big firm. He likes to leave his office with money in his pocket and go to the Montparnasse. He pays for everyone’s dinner and drinks. When he is drunk he talks about the novel he is going to write. He gets very little sleep and often arrives at his office the next morning with stains and wrinkles on his suit. As if to detract attention from such details, he talks more volubly and brilliantly than ever, giving his listeners no time to interrupt or respond, so that everyone is saying, 'Richard is loosing his clients. He cannot stop talking.' He acts like a man on a trapeze who must not look down at the public. If he looks below he will fall. He will fall somewhere between his lawyer's office and Montparnasse. No one will know where to look for him for he hides his two faces from all. There are times when he is still asleep in some unknown hotel with an unknown woman when he should be at his office, and other times when he is working late at his office, while his friends are waiting for him at the Cafe du Dôme. A few days ago he brought me an article by Henry Miller on Brunuel's film L'Age d'Or. It was as potent as a bomb. It reminded me of D.H. Lawrence's 'I'm a human bomb.' There is in this piece of writing a primitive, savage quality. By contrast with the writers I have been reading, it seems like a jungle. Only a short article, but the words are slung like hatchets, explode with hatred, and it was like hearing wild drums in the midst of the Tuileries gardens. You live like this, sheltered in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book (Lady Chatterley for instance), or you take a trip, or you talk with Richard, and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken. They are like the people who go to sleep in the snow and never awaken. But I am not in danger, because my home, my garden, my beautiful life do not lull me. I am aware of being in a beautiful prison, from which I can only escape by writing. So I have written a book about D.H. Lawrence out of gratitude, because it was he who awakened me. I took it to Richard and he prepared the contracts and then he talked about his friend Henry Miller. He had shown my manuscript to Henry Miller and Miller said: 'I have never read such strong truths told with such delicacy.' 'I would like to bring him to dinner,' said Richard. And I said yes.So delicacy and violence are about to meet and challenge each other.The image this brings to my mind is an alchemist workshop. Beautiful crystal bottles communicating with each other by a system of fragile crystal canals. These transparent bottles show nothing but jeweled, colored liquids or clouded water or smoke, giving to the external eye an abstract aesthetic pleasure. The consciousness of danger, fatal mixtures is known only to the chemist. I feel like a well-appointed laboratory of the soul - myself, my home, my life - in which none of the vitally fecund or destructive, explosive experiments has yet begun. I like the shape of the bottles, the colors of the chemicals. I collect bottles and the more they look like alchemist bottles the more I like them for their eloquent forms. When I saw Henry Miller walking towards the door where I stood waiting, I closed my eyes for an instant to see him by some other inner eye. He was warm, joyous, relaxed, natural. He would have passed anonymously through a crowd. He was slender, lean, not tall. He looked like a Buddhist monk, a rosy skinned monk, with his partly bald head aureoled by lively silver hair, his full sensuous mouth. His blue eyes are cool and observant, but his mouth is emotional and vulnerable. His laughter is contagious and his voice caressing and warm like a Negro voice. He was so different from his brutal, violent, vital writing, his caricatures, his Rabelaisian farces, his exaggerations. The smile at the corner of his eyes is almost clownish; the mellow tones of his voice are almost like a purring content. He is a man whom life intoxicates, who has no need of wine, who is floating in a self-created euphoria. In a middle of a serious discussion between Richard and Joaquin, he began to laugh. Seeing the perplexity on Richard's face, he said: 'I am not laughing at you, Richard, but I just can't help myself. I don't care a bit who is right. I'm too happy. I'm just so happy right at this moment, with all the colors around me, the fire in the fire-place, the good dinner, the wine, the whole moment is so wonderful, so wonderful...' He talked slowly, as if enjoying his own words. He installed himself completely in the present. He appeared gentle and candid. He admitted he had only come because of Richard's promise of a good dinner. But now he wanted to know the whole house, everyone living in it, what each one did, and asked question after question with casual unrelentingness. Henry Miller talked with Joaquin about music, about his compositions and his concerts. He went to shake my mother's hand, he visited the garden, looked over the books. I looked upon a clock to find the truth. The hours were passing like ivory chess figures, striking piano notes, and the minutes raced on wires mounted like tin soldiers. Hours like tall ebony women with gongs between their legs, tolling continuously so that I could not count them. I heard the rolling of my heart-beats; I heard the footsteps of my dreams, and the beat of time was lost among them like the face of truthDecember 30, 1931
Henry came to Louveciennes with June. As June walked towards me from the darkness of the garden into the light of the door, I saw for the first time the most beautiful woman on Earth. A startling white face, burning dark eyes, a face so alive I felt it would consume itself before my eyes. Coming out of the theatre I take her arm. Then she slips her hand over mine and we lock hands. The chestnut trees are shedding their pollen in wispy parachutes, and the street lamps in the fog wear thin gold halos around them like the heads of saints. Does she find with me a rest from the tensions? Does she have this need of clarity when the labyrinth becomes too dark and too narrow? I was infinitely moved by the touch of her hand. Yet, in the taxi, I could hardly think clearly when she pressed my hand to her breast, and I kept her hand and I was not ashamed of my adoration, my humility, for she is older, she knows more, she should be leading me, initiating me, taking me out of smoky fantasies into experience. My imagination pushes me into unknown unexplored, dangerous realms. Yet, there is always my fundamental nature, and I am never deceived by my intellectual adventures, or my literary exploits. I need to create, I hate cruelty. The day that we lunched together, I was ready to follow her into any perversity, and destruction. I had not counted on my effect on her. I said: 'do you like these sandals?' I said: 'come on to my room and try another pair I have, just like these.' I came back from walking with her to the station dazed, exhausted, elated, happy, unhappy. I wanted to ask her forgiveness for my questions. They had been so unsubtle, so unlike me. In the shop the ugly woman who waited on us hated us and our obvious happiness. I held June's hand firmly. I commanded: 'Bring this. Bring that.' I was firm, willful with the woman. When she mentioned the width of June's feet, I scolded her. June could not understand the French woman, but she sensed that she was disagreeable. We chose sandals like mine. She refused anything else, anything, that was not symbolic or representative of me. Everything I wore, she would wear, although she said she had never wanted to imitate anyone else ever before. When we walked the streets 'bodies close together hands locked, I was in such ecstasy I could not talk. The city disappeared and so did the people. The acute joy of our walking through the streets of Paris I shall never forget, and I shall never be able to describe it. We were walking above the world, above reality, into pure, pure ecstasy. The struggle for _expression was not as acute for me before I met June. Her talk is like my secret writing. At times incoherent, at times abstract, at times blind. Let incoherence be then. Our meeting each other has been emotionally to disturbing. Both of us had inviolate self we never gave. It was our dreaming self. Now we have invaded this world in each other. Before her I repudiate all I have done, all that I am. I aspire to more. I am ashamed of my writing. I want to throw everything away and begin a new. I have a terror of disappointing her.The station master stopped me to sell me some charity tickets. I bought them and gave them to him, wishing him luck with the lottery. At first I protested and rebelled against poetry. I was about to deny my poetic worlds. I was doing violence to my illusions with analysis, science, and learning Henry's language, entering Henry's world. I wanted to destroy by violence and animalism my tenuous fantasies and illusions and my hypersensitivity. A kind of suicide. The ignominy awakened me. Then June came and answered the cravings of my imagination and saved me. Or perhaps she killed me, for now I am started on a course of madness. Hell is a different place for each man, or each man has his own particularly hell. My descent into the inferno is a descent into the irrational level of existence, where the instincts and blind emotions are loose, where one lives by pure impulse, pure fantasy, and therefore pure madness. No that is not the inferno. While I am there, I am as unconscious of misery as a man who is drunk; or rather, my misery is a great joy. It is when I become conscious again that unutterable pain. I began to awaken from my dream yesterday. I am not the poet who sees her. I am the poet who will write things which would never have been written if June had not existed. Yet I exist too, independently of my writing. June sat filled with champagne. I have no need of it. She talked about the effects of hashish. I said: 'I have known such states without hashish. I do not need drugs carry all that in myself. At this she was irritated. She does not realize that being an artist I want to be in those states of ecstasy or vision while keeping my awareness intact. I am the poet and I must feel and see. I do not want to be anaesthetized. I am drunk on June's beauty, but I am also aware of it. Henry Miller is writing a book one thousand pages long which has everything in it that is left out of other novels. He has now taken refuge in Richard's hotel room. "Every morning when I leave he is still asleep. I leave ten francs on the table and when I return there is another batch of writing done.'February, 1932
I carry about rich, heavy letters from Henry. Avalanches. I have tacked up on the walls of my writing room two big sheets covered with words which he gave me, and a panorama of his life, with lists of friends, mistresses, unwritten novels, written novels, places he has been to, and those he wants to visit. It is covered with notes for future novels. I have always been tormented by the image of multiplicity of selves. Some days I call it richness, and other days I see it as a disease, a proliferation as dangerous as cancer. My first concept about people around me was that all of them were coordinated into a whole, whereas I was made up of a multitude of selves, of fragments. I know that I was upset as a child to discover that we had only one life. It seems to me that I wanted to compensate for this by multiplying experience. Op perhaps it always seems like this when you follow all your impulses and they take you in different directions. In any case when I was happy, always at the beginning of a love, euphoric, I felt I was gifted for many living many lives fully. It was only when I was in trouble, lost in a maze, stifled by complications and paradoxes that I was haunted or that I spoke of my madness, but I meant the madness of the poets. Passion gives me moments of wholeness. Perhaps we have built a false concept of wholeness and under the pressure of an artificial unity, people like June explode and fly in all directions. I get letters from Henry every day. I answer him immediately. I gave him my typewriter and I write by hand. I think of June day and night. I am full of energy. I write endless letters. Last night after reading Henry's novel, I could not sleep. It was midnight. I wanted to get up and go to my writing room and write to henry about his first book. There are two doors to open and they creak. I lay still and forced myself to sleep, with phrases rushing through my head and like minor cyclones. I could understand and see, as if I had been there, the devastating charade lovers enter upon. Henry's end June's was on the theme of truth and non-truth, illusion and reality. The meshing only took place in the interlocking of desire. Sudden, violent desires. No time to turn down coverlets, to close windows, to turn out the lights. Against the wall on the carpet on a chair, on a couch, in taxis, in elevators in parks, on rivers, on boats, in the woods, on balconies, in doorways at night, they grappled body to body, breath to breath, tongue against tongue, as if to enclose, enmesh, imprison once and forever, essences, flavors with eluded them at other times. I have learned from Henry to make notes, to expand, not to brood secretly, to move, to write every day, to do, to say instead of meditating, not to conceal the breaking up of my myself under emotion. I must have much to love, much to hate, much to grapple with. I am deeply happy.I no longer have the feeling of emptiness around me. I am so far away from my soft and gentle home. Yet for June too, I was an archangel. They all want to sanctify me, to turn me into an effigy, a myth. They want to idealize me and pray to me, use me for consolation, comfort. Curse my image, the image of me which faces me every day with the same over-fineness, over delicacy, the pride, the vulnerability which makes people want to preserve me, threat me with care. Curse my eyes which are sad, and my hands which are delicate, and my walk, which is a glide, my voice, which is a whisper, all that can be used for a poem, and too fragile to be raped, violated, used. I am near death from solitude, near dissolution. My being was sundered in two by Henry and June, in absolute discord, in profound contradiction. It is impossible for me to follow one direction, to grow in only one direction. Mine was, from childhood, growth, in an atmosphere of music and books and artists, always constructing, creating, writing, drawing, inventing plays, acting in them, writing a diary, living in created dreams as inside a cocoon, dreams born of reading, always reading, growing, disciplining myself to learn, to study, skirting abysses and dangers with incredible innocence, the body always sensitive but in flight from ugliness. The eroticism of Paris awakened me but I remained a romantic. I studied dancing, painting, sculpture, costuming, decoration. I created beautiful homes. We have a common objective passion for truth, 'I said. 'I have been trying to be honest, day by day, in the diary. You are right when you speak of my honesty. I make an effort at least. It is feminine to be oblique. It is not trickery. It is a fear of being judged. What we analyze, will it die? Will June die? Will our feelings die suddenly, if you should make a caricature of them? There is a danger in too much knowledge. You have a passion for absolute knowledge. You will be hated because of this. There are truths human beings can't bear. And sometimes I do feel your relentless analysis of June leaves something out. You go about it like a surgeon with a scalpel. And as you cut, you kill what you cut into. What will you do after you have exposed all there is to expose about June? Truth. What ferocity in your quest of it? At times I'm sure you want to resuscitate your blind worship, your blindness. In some strange way, I am not with you, I am against you. We are destined to hold two truths. When you caricature tear apart, I hate you. I want to fight your realism with all the magic forces of poetry. He carries one vision of the world as monstrous, and I carry mine. They oppose each other, and also complement each other. If at moments I see the world as he does, will he sometimes see the world as I do? Henry said: 'Would you like me to take you to 32 Rue Blondel?'What will we see there?''Whores.'Henry's whores. I feel curious and friendly towards Henry's whores. The taxi drops us in a narrow little street. A red light painted with a number 32 shines over the doorway. We push a swinging door. It is like a café full of men and women, but the women are naked. There is heavy smoke, much noise, and women are trying to get our attention even before the patronne leads us to a table. Henry smiles. A very vivid, very fat Spanish-looking woman sits with us and she calls a woman we had not noticed, small, feminine, almost timid. Drinks are served. The small woman is sweet and pliant. We discuss nail polish. They both study the pearly nail polish I use and ask the name of it. The women dance together. Some are handsome, but others look withered and tired and listless. So many bodies all at once, big hips, buttocks, and breasts. 'The two girls will amuse you,' says the patronne.I had expected a man for the demonstration of sixty-six ways of making love. Henry barters over the price. The women smile. The big one has bold features, raven black hair in curls which almost hide her face. The smaller one has a pale face with blonde hair. They are like mother and daughter. They wear high heeled shoes, black stockings with garters at the tights, and a loose open kimono. They lead us upstairs. They walk ahead, swinging their hips. Henry jokes with them. They open the door on a room which looks like a velvet-lined jewel casket. The walls are covered with red velvet. The bed is low and has a canopy which conceals a mirror on the ceiling of the bed. The lights are rosy and dim. The women are at ease and cheerful. They are washing themselves in the bidet which is in the room. It is all done so casually and with so much indifference that I wonder how one can become interested. The women are joking between themselves. The big woman ties a rubber penis around her waist. It is of an impossible pink. They lie on the bed after slipping their shoes off, but not the black stockings. And they begin to take poses.L'amour dans un taxi.L'amour a L'Espagnole.L'amour when you do not have the price of a hotel room. (for this they stand up against the wall)L'amour when one if them is sleepy.The small woman pretended to be asleep. The big woman took the smaller woman from behind, gently and softly. As they demonstrate they make humorous remarks. It is all bantering and mockery of love until... The small woman has been lying on her back with her legs open. The big woman removed the penis and kissed the small woman's clitoris. She flicked her tongue over it, caressed it, kissed. The small women's eyes closed and we could see she was enjoying it. She began to moan and tremble with pleasure. She offered to our eyes her quivering body and raised herself a little to meet the voracious mouth of the bigger woman. And then came the climax for her and she let out a cry of joy. Then she lay absolutely still. Breathing fast. A moment later they both stood up, joking, and the mood passed. I feel that when Henry talks to me he seeks another language. I feel him evading the words which come easier to his lips and searching for more subtle tones. I feel I have taken him into a new world. He walks cautiously into it, gently. I said to him: "Don't think that when I talk so much about beauty and poetry in relation to June that I am merely trying to romanticize, to make it all appear innocent or ideal. I am only trying to describe feelings which are not simple to describe. For you the sexual act is everything. But sometimes the sense can make a great deal of the mere touch of a hand." Joaquin questions my giving to Henry. Why curtains for Henry? Why shoes for Henry? Why writing paper and books for Henry? And me? And me? Joaquin does not understand how spoiled I am. Henry gives me the world. June gave me madness. They gave me two beings I can admire. How grateful I am to find two people who interest me unreservedly. They are generous to me in a way I cannot explain to Joaquin. Can I explain to Joaquin that Henry gives me his water colors, and June her only bracelet?Men who knew me made flippant remarks about wanting to sleep with me. June stopped them in an angry way which revealed her love for me. As if I were sacred The station master stopped me to sell me some charity tickets. I bought them and gave them to him, wishing him luck with the lottery The chestnut trees are shedding their pollen in wispy parachutes, and the street lamps in the fog wear thin gold halos around them like the heads of saints With the first crushing of the gravel under wheels comes the barking of the police dog, Banquo, and the carillion of the church bells I am aware of being in a beautiful prison, from which I can only escape by writing.In spite of this knowledge I often stand at the window staring at the large closed iron gate, as if hoping to obtain from this contemplation a reflection of my inner obstacles to a full, open life Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it.Beautiful crystal bottles communicating with each other by a system of fragile crystal canals.I want to fight your realism with all the magic forces of poetry.I am the poet who will write things which would never have been written if June had not existed.Idealism is the death of the body and of the imagination.When I saw Henry Miller walking towards the door where I stood waiting, I closed my eyes for an instant to see him by some other inner eye.April, 1932
I met Fred Perlès today. He is timid, sad eyed, a sad clown. He echoes Henry, mimics him.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. I think I have an immediate awareness in living which is far more terrible and more painful. There is no time lapse, no distance between me and the present. Instantaneous awareness. But it's also true that when I write afterwards, I see much more, I anderstand better, I develop and enrich. I live more on time. What I remembered later does not seem as true to me. I have such a need of truth. It must be that need of immediate recording which incites me to write almost while I am living, before it is altered, changing by distance of time. We sit in the kitchen having lunch. Books pile up, records on the floor. Charst and drawings on the walls.I palliate the suffering of others. Yes I see myself always softening blows, dissolving acids, neutralizing poisons, every moment of the day. I try to fulfill the wishes of others, to perform miracles. I exert myself on performing miracles (Henry will write his book, Henry will not starve, June will be cured etc.) Today I met Fred and we walked towards Trinité together to buy things for the apartment. The sun came out from behind a cloud. I quoted from his writing on a sunny morning in the market, which touched him. He tells me that I am good for Henry. I guess I must have been sleeping a hundred years in the worlds of the poets, and did not know about hell on Earth.I have just stood before the open window of my bedroom and I have breathed in deeply all the honeysuckle-perfumed air, the sunshine, the snowdrops of winter, the crocuses of spring, the primroses, the crooning pigeons, the trills of the birds, the entire procession of soft winds and cool smells, of frail colors and petal textured skies, the knotted snake grays of the old vine roots, the vertical shoots of young branches, the dank smell of old leaves, of wet earth of torn roots, and fresh cut grass, winter, summer, and fall, sunrises and sunsets, storms and lulls, wheat and chestnuts, wild strawberries and wild roses, violets and damp logs, burnt fields and new poppies. The core of us is an artist, a writer. And it's in our work, by our work, that we reassemble the fragments, re-create wholeness.I gave myself total and annihilatingly to my mother. For years I was lost in my love for her. I loved her uncritically, piously, obediently. I gave myself. I was weak, depersonalized. I had no will. She chose the dresses I wore, the books I read; she dictated my letters to my father, or at least read and censored them, revised them. I only began to rebel and assert myself when I went out to work at sixteen. I could not go out with boys as other girls did. I repudiated Catholicism, Christianity. It is my weakness I hate, not her engulfing domination. It takes character to write a long, lifelong diary, a book, to create several homes, to travel, to protect others, and yet I have no character in human relationships. I cannot scold a maid, tell a hurtful truth, assert my wishes, be angry at injustice or treachery. I heard Joaquin say: Anais is a dreamer, she as no sense of reality. It is reality she thinks Henry is revealing to her. Last night I sat with Fred in a cafe after work and the whores talked to me and Fred looked at me severely because they were ugly ones, diseased I could say, and he thought I should not be talking to them. Fred is a snob sometimes. But I like whores. You don't have to write them letters. You don't have to tell them how wonderful they are.Am I at bottom still that fervent little Spanish catholic child who chastised herself for loving toys, who forbade herself the enjoyment of sweet foods, who practiced silence, who humiliated her pride, who adored symbols, statues, burning candles, incense, the caress of nuns, organic music, for whom Communion was a great event? I was so exalted by the idea of eating Jesus' flesh and drinking his blood that I couldn't swallow the host well, and I dreaded harming it. On my knees, lost to my surroundings, eyes closed, I visualized Christ descending into my heart so realistically ( I was a realist then) that I could see him walking down the stairs, entering the room of my heart like a sacred visitor. The state of this room was a subject of great preoccupation for me. I fancied that if I had not been good, this room would appear ugly in the eyes of Christ; I fancied he could see as soon as he entered whether it was clear, empty, luminous, or cluttered, dark chaotic. At that age, nine, ten, eleven, I believe I approximated sainthood. And then, at sixteen, resentful of controls, disillusioned with a god who had not granted my prayers (the return of my father) who performed no miracles, who left me fatherless and in a strange country, I rejected all Catholicism with exaggeration. Goodness, virtue, charity, submission, stifled me. I took up the words of Lawrence; They stress only pain, sacrifice, suffering and death. They do not dwell enough on the resurrection on joy and life in the present. Today I feel my past like an unbearable weight, I feel that it interferes with my present life, that it must be the cause for this withdrawal, my closing the doors. Until now I had the feeling of beginning anew, with all the hope and freshness and freedom which erases the past mysteries and restrictions. What has happened. And what sorrow and coldness? I feel as if I carried inscribed over me: my past killed me. I am embalmed because a nun leaned over me, enveloped me in her veils, kissed me. The chill curse of Christianity. I do not confess anymore, I have no remorse, yet am I doing penance for my enjoyments? Nobody knows what a magnificent pray I was for Christian legends, because of my compassion and my tenderness for human beings. Today it divides me from enjoyment of life.I have suddenly turned cold towards henry because I have witnessed his cruelty to Fred. No, I do not love Fred, but Fred is a symbol of my past, because he is romantic, sensitive, vulnerable. The first time I saw him, he was so shy, and then he became devoted to me. So the day when Henry willfully hurts Fred, my friendship comes to a stop. It seems absurd. But the fear of cruelty has been the great conflict of my life. I witnessed the cruelty of my father towards my mother, I experienced his sadistic whippings of my brothers and myself, and I saw his cruelty against animals (he killed a cat with a cane). The sympathy I felt for my mother reached hysteria when they quarreled, and the terror of their battles, of their angers grew so great it became paralyzing later, when I became incapable of anger or cruelty myself. I grew up with such an incapacity for cruelty that it is almost abnormal. When I should show character, I show weakness because of my fear of cruelty. Seeing a small manifestation of it in Henry brought out an awareness of all this other cruelties. It was to avoid this conflict that I almost became recluse. Regression. I fell back into early memories, early states of being, into childhood recollections, and all this prevents me from living in the present. I gave too much importance to cruelty. All this sounds very reasonable. Certainly I feel cold and withdrawn, and I need to confide in someone. I need guidance. The next day I rushed to Clichy and Henry, Fred and I laughed all this away. All I wanted was humor and wisdom. Joaquin thinks that henry is a destructive force who has elected its opposite (me) to test his power on. Joaquin and my mother think I have succumbed to tons of literature (it is true that I love literature) that I may be saved (Joaquin is not sure how), in spite of myself. I smiled sardonically. Today for the first time I rang the bell of Dr. Allendy's house. I was led by a maid through a dark hallway into a dark salon. The dark brown walls, the brown velvet chairs, the dark red rug, received me like a quite tomb and I shivered. The only light came from a greenhouse on which it opened. It was filled with tropical plants, surrounding a small pool with goldfish in it. A pebble path circled the pool. The sun filtered through the green leaves gave a subdued greenish light, as if I were at the bottom of the ocean. It seemed apt to leave ordinary daylight behind for the exploration of submerged worlds. Dr. Allendy's office was soundproofed by a heavy black Chinese curtain, embroidered in gold thread with a few papyrus branches. When the time came, he slid a door open and then lifted the curtain and stood there, very tall, his eyes the most alive part of his face, the eyes of a seer. He has very brilliant even small teeth, and bold features. He is heavy and his bearded face gives him a patriarchal air. It is almost a surprise to see him a moment later sitting quietly behind the Morris chair on which I sat, rustling note paper and pencils, and talking softly. It would have seemed more appropriate for him to be doing horoscopes or preparing an alchemist formula or reading a crystal ball because he looked more like a magician than a doctor. My father did not want a girl. My father was over-critical. He was never satisfied, never pleased. I never remember a compliment or a caress from him. At home only scenes, quarrels, beatings. And his hard blue eyes on us, looking for the flaws. When I was ill with typhoid fever, almost dying, all he could say was: 'Now you are ugly, how ugly you are.'He was always on tour, pampered by women. My mother made scenes of jealousy. When I was nine years old and almost died of appendicitis not diagnosed early enough, and we arrived at Arcachon, where he was vacationing, he made it plain he didn't want us. What he meant for my mother I also took for myself. Yet I had a hysterical sorrow when he finally abandoned us. I always feared his hardness and his criticalness. I could not bring myself to see him again. 'Can a child's confidence, once shaken and destroyed, have such repercussions on a whole life? Why should my father's insufficient love remain indelible; why was it not effaced by all the loves I received since he left me?'I suddenly felt a great distress at being left alone again to solve my own difficulties. I asked if I might come again.There is a baffling thing about analysis which is a challenge to a writer. It is almost impossible to detect the links by which one arrives at a certain statement. There is a fumbling, a shadowy area. One does not arrive suddenly at the clear cut phrases I put down. There were hesitancies, innuendo's detours. I reported it as a limpid dialogue, but left out the shadows and obscurities. One cannot give a progressive development. Is it that Dr. Allendy works with something which escapes consciousness?Psychoanalysis does force one to be more truthful. Already I realize certain feelings I was not aware of, like the fear of being hurt. I despise my own hypersensitivity, which requires so much reassurance. It is certainly abnormal to crave so much to be loved and understood.I have written the first two pages of my new book, 'House of incest' in a surrealistic way. I am influenced by transition and Breton and Rimbaud. They give my imagination and opportunity to leap freely.What do I feel when I see henry's cold blue eyes on me? My father had icy blue eyes.We sit in several cafés, Francis Carco cafés, where the pimps are playing cards and watching their women on the sidewalk. We talked about life and death, as D.H. Lawrence talked about it, the people we know who are dead, those who are alive.At Clichy, we were sitting in the kitchen with Fred. A small window looks down on the courtyard. We had finished a bottle of wine. We were smoking heavily and Henry had to get up and wash his eyes with cold water, the irritated eyes of the little German boy. I could not bear this and I said impetuously, 'Henry, let's drink to the end of your newspaper work. You will never do it again. I will take care of you.'This had an extraordinary effect on Fred. His mouth began to tremble. He began to sob. He laid his head on my shoulder and the tears which rolled down his cheeks were enormous and heavy. I had never seen such tears.'Don't be hurt,' I said, but I did not know why I said this. Why should he be hurt that Henry might be free of a job which was ruining his eyes? Henry did not understand either. 'What's the matter Fred?' I believe you are angry because you think I washed my eyes before Anais to arouse her pity, to take advantage of her susceptibility.' I met henry and his friends at the cafe. Henry told me that Fred had not returned to Clichy the night before.'Don't take him too seriously,' said henry. 'He loves tragedy. His feelings are very keen but all on the surface, all emotional, and they pass quickly.' Later Fred joined us. We ate dinner together at a bistro. But Fred was depressed. Henry was deciding which movie we would see. Fred said he would come not with us, that he had work to do. Henry went to buy cigarettes. I said, 'Fred, won't you come with us? Why are you so hurt?''It's better that I should not come. I am too unhappy. You know my feelings.' He kissed my hand.A little later as the red wine took effect, he threw off his mood to please me, and said, 'Let's not go to the movies, let's go to Louveciennes.' The three of us rushed for the train. It was only nine in the evening when everyone in the house was asleep.Magic.I felt the magic of my house, lulling them. We sat by the fire. The fire made us talk quietly, intimately. I opened the iron boxes and showed them my journals. Fred seized upon the first volume and began to cry and laugh over it. Henry read all about himself in the red journal. We sat in the salon and read and talked. Henry and Fred were both at work when I arrived at Clichy for dinner. Henry was looking over fragments to be inserted in his book. The strength of his writing! The paradox between his gentleness and his violent writing. We all cooked dinner together. Fred had been typing pages about me. He made a beautiful portrait of me. He said 'Those are for everyone to read. I am going to write secret ones to you alone.' 'Do you like me, Anais, ' he asked pleadingly.'Of course I do Fred.'Henry is very gay. He is making plans for future books; he talks about Spengler, transition, Breton, and dreams. He has heavy take offs and I sometimes suggest he begin somewhere else, to cut out laborious beginnings. It is these tranquil, relaxed hours with Henry and Fred which are the most fecund. Henry falls into a thoughtful quietness, musing, chuckling over his work. He has at times, something of a gnome, a satyr, and a German scholar. At such moments, his body appears fragile, and the energy of his writing and his talk and imagination seem almost too much for it. As he sits there, sipping coffee, I see a new aspect of him: I see his richness, the impulses which blow like gusts and carry him everywhere, his letters to people all over the world, his curiosity, his exploration of Paris day and night, his relentless investigation of human beings. My childlike attitude towards older men. I can see nothing in it but immaturity, a need brought on by the absence of a father.May 4, 1932
Dr. Allendy's office. His big desk, and a big shaded lamp. The wall where the window is, the window which looks on the street, is the one I look at as I sit on the armchair. On the arm of the chair is a small ashtray. Dr. Allendy sits behind this chair, where nothing betrays his presence except the rustle of paper and the sound of his pencil as he makes notes. His questions come from behind the armchair, disembodied, and so I can give all my attention to his words. I am not able to notice other things, his face, his clothes, his gestures. I have to concentrate on what he says.Dr. Allendy: 'what do you feel after our first talk?'Anais: 'I felt I needed you, that I didn't want to be left alone again to face the problem of my life.'Dr. Allendy; 'It's quiet clear from all you tell me that you loved your father devotedly, abnormally, and that you hated the sexual reasons which caused him to abandon you. For you felt his reason for having mistresses, for traveling away from you (even with the excuse of concert tours), the reason for your mother's unhappiness and scenes, the reason for his final departure, was sexual. This may have created in you a certain obscure feeling against sex.'Anais: 'Not against it, but a fear of being hurt through it, by it, because of it.' He probes, asks questions, sometimes gives up an inquest into a particular theory, surrenders a theme of domination in favor of a theme of courting and fearing suffering from love.Anais; 'it seemed to me that men only love big, healthy women with enormous breasts. When I was a girl, my mother worried about slenderness and quoted the Spanish proverb: "Bones are for the dogs." I doubted being able to please or win a big love for myself, so I accepted what was given to me, gratefully. It was to forget this that I decided to be an artist, a writer, to be interesting, charming, accomplished. I was not sure of being beautiful enough. At times, Dr. Allendy laughs at what I say, at the way I say it. He says I have a sense of humor. But from my dreams he culls a consistent desire to be punished, or abandoned. I dream of a cruel Henry. I see men as sadists.Dr. Allendy; this comes from a sense of guilt for having loved your father too much. I am sure that to make up for this, you loved you mother much more, later.Anais: it is true. I was blindly devoted to her, loved her tremendously.Dr. Allendy: and now you seek punishment. And you enjoy the suffering, which reminds you of the suffering you endured with your father. You were very jealous, as a little girl, of the women he loved.Dr. Allendy's statements sound unsubtle. I feel oppressed as if his questions were like thrusts, as if I were a criminal in court. Analysis does not help me. It seems painful. It stirs up my fears and doubts. The pain of living is nothing compared to the pain of his investigation.Anais: I cannot believe I had a fear of men. I was always very susceptible physically. It was only my romanticism, my desire for a real love, which prevented me from yielding to many temptations.Dr. Allendy asks me to relax and to tell him what goes on in my mind.Anais: I am analyzing what you said, and I do not agree with your interpretations.Dr. Allendy: You are doing my work. You are trying to be the analyst, to identify with me. Have you ever wished to surpass men in their own work, to have more success?Anais: indeed not. I protected and sacrificed much for my brother's musical career, made it possible. I am now helping Henry and giving all I can, to do his own work. I gave Henry my typewriter. There I think you are very wrong.Dr. Allendy; Perhaps you are one of those women who are friend, not an enemy of man.Anais: more than that. I wanted to be married to an artist, rather then be one, collaborate with him. There are ideas which Dr. Allendy abandons. But every time he touches upon the theme of confidence, he sees the turmoil and distress I feel. I lie back and I feel an inrush of pain, despair, defeat. Dr. Allendy has hurt me. I cry. I feel weak. It's time to go. I stand up and face him. His marine-blue eyes are very soft. He feels pity for me: he says; You have suffered a great deal. But I did not want to pity; I wanted him to admire me, to think me a unique woman. When I leave him, I am in a dream. If, behind the black Chinese curtain he looked like a powerful magician, at the front door in the daylight, he looks like a kindly, protective, gentle-mannered doctor. It seems symbolically right to enter his home and wait in a dark salon, to sit in a dark library, and then having traversed these dark fantastic fearful regions, to emerge into daylight, into a neatly groomed garden, a quiet street.Dr. Allendy: why did you cry the last time?Anais: I feel that some of the things you said were true. Analysis is distasteful to me. I would prefer to tell Dr. Allendy simply about the day spent with henry and Fred. Fred's weeping when I said I would take care of henry. I begin with docility but I feel a growing resistance to probing.Dr. Allendy: Did you hate me for making you cry?Anais: No I think I liked that. It made me feel that you were stronger than I. As the hour progresses I feel he is awakening a consciousness of obstacles and difficulties which I could forget easily if he let me, that all he is doing is re-awakening my fears and doubts. But he reminds me that, at the first sign of cruelty in Henry, I wanted to give up the friendship. Whenever Dr. Allendy tells me to close my eyes and relax, I begin to do my own analysis. Now he is probing the splitting of personalities, the imaginative poetic writing on the one hand and the realistic writing in the diary. He begins to sense the importance of my work. Meanwhile I am saying to myself that he is telling me a little that I do not know, little that I have not written already. But this is not true, because he has made clear to me the idea of guilt, of guilt and punishment. I elude Dr. Allendy's further questions. He fumbles. He can find nothing definite. He suggests many hypotheses. Yet, I had come in a mood of surrender; I had come intensely tired from the night before, on purpose (I could have postponed the seance). I thought I would be less mentally on guard, more malleable, less wary. Also, when he probed to know my feelings about him and I told him about my interests in his books. I had a mischievous awareness that he expected me to be interested in him, and I did not like playing the game while knowing it was a game. Yet my interest in his book was sincere. I also told him that I did not care any more to impress him, to gain his admiration. That I admitted my need of him.Anais: at this moment I have less confidence in myself than ever. It is intolerable. I could not bring myself to say that there were times when I was tempted to abdicate from my own goodness or faithfulness in order to create for myself a richer life, to have more to tell, to find a way to match the eventfulness of their life, the enormous amount of relationships, incidents, experiences. I could see already how contagious a full life can be. When I walk about Paris, I see and sense much more now then I did before, my eyes having been opened by Henry's revelations. But all these fantasies were dispelled when I found Henry in such a serious mood. He asked me to roll up my sleeves and go to work with him on the coordination of his book. Fred was working on his book. Henry tends to overflow to expand so much that he gets lost. I am able to see what is irrelevant, over-developed and confused. My own style is more terse, more condensed, more life, delayed his assimilation and digestion of experience (which he needs) shone with the glitter of motion and drama; and Henry would have cursed her, but said: June is an interesting character.Anais: Today I frankly hate you. I am against you. Dr. Allendy: But why?Anais: I feel that I have taken you away from me the little confidence I did have. I feel humiliated to have confessed to you. I have rarely confessed.Dr. Allendy: Why do you never confess? You have told me that you are reserved, that in most relationships it is you who receive confidences. People confess their fears and doubts to you. But you rarely do. Why? Are you afraid of being loved?Anais: Yes. Quite definitely. I keep a shell around me, because I want to be loved. If I expose the real Anais, I might not be loved.Dr. Allendy: Have you ever thought of how you feel when people confess to you? Does it make you love them less?Anais: No, on the contrary. I feel sympathy, compassion, I understand them better, it makes me feel closer to them.Dr. Allendy: Have you ever thought of what a relief it would be if you could be entirely open and naturally with everybody?Anais: yes, sometimes I feel human relationships are too great a strain.Dr. Allendy: after all, what do you fear so much? Come on, tell me, let's look at them frankly. What is the worst of your fears?Anais: my greatest fear is that people will become aware that I am fragile, not a full-blown woman physically, that I am emotionally vulnerable, that I have small breasts like a girl. And so I cover all this up with understanding, wisdom, interest in others, with my minds' agility, with my writing, my reading: I cover the woman up, to reveal only the artist, the confessor, the friend, the mother, the sister. I am even more unhappy, since I have seen the woman who is my ideal of a woman, June, who has the dark husky voice, the full strong body, who has vigor and endurance, can stay up all night and drink all night.Dr. Allendy: do you realize how many women envy your silhouette? Your grace? How many men find a woman who looks like a girl infinitely attractive? (This kind of direct assurance I have often received, and it does not convince me or I would have been convinced long ago, when I was the most popular model for the painters, so much in demand that I could not keep up with my engagements. I know he must find a more profound way of healing my shattered confidence). Dr. Allendy was amazed at the extent of my lack of confidence.Dr. Allendy: Of course, to an analyst, it is very clear, even in your appearance.Anais: in my appearance?Dr. Allendy: yes, everything you wear, the way you walk, sit, stand is seductive and it is only people who are unsure who act constantly in a seductive manner and dress to charm. We laughed at this. I felt softer and more relaxed. I talked about my father's passion for photography and how he was always photographing me. He liked to take photo's of me while I bathed. He always wanted me naked. All his admiration came by way of the camera. His eyes were partly concealed by heavy glasses (he was myopic) and then by the camera lens. Lovely, lovely, how many times, in how many places, until he left us, did I sit for him for countless pictures. And it was the only time we spent together. Later when I gave concert of Spanish dances in Paris, I imagined I saw his face in the audience. It seemed pale and stern. I stopped in the middle of my dance, frozen, and for an instant I thought I could not continue. The guitarists playing behind me thought I had stage fright and he began to encourage me with shouts and clapping. later, when I saw my father again, I asked him if he had seen me at the concert. And so guilt, guilt had cut short a life I wanted, for after the concert I was offered an engagement with the Spanish ballet of the Opera. I would have traveled, I would have been pampered, I would have lived an adventurous and physical, colorful life. Could Dr. Allendy really have rescued me then, freed me of the EYE of the father, of the eye of the camera which I have always feared and disliked as an exposure. An exposure of what? Of the desire to charm, of coquettishness of vanity, of seductiveness? Dr. Allendy said I wanted my father there, I wanted to dazzle him. And that today, when I do charm, dazzle or win anyone, I do not want to win; I have too much guilt.Anais: and writing! Writing I was not afraid to do?Dr. Allendy: No, that did not seem as if you put yourself forward to charm men, but your work, a creation, something removed from you. It is something you do alone, not in public. There is distance and objectivity. But I have no doubt that if you should succeed in it, you would also give it up. Then suddenly I remembered that my father wrote too, although it was not his profession. he wrote two books, one called "Pour L'art" and the other "Idees et Commentaires" both on the aesthetics of art. I had seen him work on them, and it was my mother who typed for him. The rest of our talk escapes me. I too am interested in evil, and I want my Dionysian life, drunkenness and passion and chaos; and yet here I am, sitting at a kitchen table and working with Henry on the portrait of June while Fred is making a stew. My restlessness which was vague and lyrical has become sharp-pointed and intolerable clear. I want to be June. Never have I seen as clearly as tonight that my diary writing is a vice. I came home worn out by magnificent talks with Henry at the cafe; I glided into my bedroom, closed the curtains, threw a log into the fire, lit a cigarette, pulled the diary out of its last hiding place under my dressing table, threw it on the ivory silk quilt, and prepared for bed. I had the feeling that this is the way an opium smoker prepares for his opium pipe. For this is the moment when I relive my life in terms of a dream, a myth, an endless story. As I can never catch up with the typing of the diary, marguerite is very helpful and she needs the work. We type in different rooms, but sit in the garden afterwards, talking. She talks about her life. Her father was director of a college in the provinces and very severe with her. He demanded perfection. She is now trying to live alone. He had subdued her mother so completely that he had instilled in her a great fear of love and marriage. Dr. Allendy is helping her. Copying my diary seems to help her too, as when I am frightened I throw myself into action, whereas she withdraws. She is doing research work in libraries which she will not discuss. She is full of secrets. I confide in Dr. Allendy. I talk profusely about my childhood. Quote from early writings obvious phrases about my father. So intelligible now, my love for him. And also the consequent sense of guilt. I wrote at age eleven: "I feel I do not deserve my Christmas presents." I gave up my faith in God because he did not accomplish a miracle and bring my father back to me on my thirteenth birthday. That was my prayer and it was never answered. I began to write the diary on the ship bringing us to America at the age of eleven for him, to tell him the story of my wanderings far from him. I tried to mail the diary volumes to him. My mother did not let me, saying they might get lost. When I took communion at Mass, I imagined it was not Christ who visited me in this heart shaped like a room, but my father. I was aware that I had not only lost him but a way of life, music, musicians, colorful visitors, prestige, a European life, as compared with life in America, unknown with drab and colorless friends, and my mother struggling to support us. We discuss finances and I tell Dr. Allendy the cost of the visits will prevent me from seeing him more than once a week. He not only reduces his fee by half but offers to let me pay him by working for him. He has research to do in the library and has some articles which must be rewritten. I am very flattered. I have full confidence in my ability as writer. Dr. Allendy listens to my talk about June.Anais: June is my ideal of what a woman should be. I am underweight. A few more pounds would add greatly to my self-confidence. I feel like an adolescent girl. Will you add medicine to your psychic treatment? My breasts are too small.Dr. Allendy: Are they absolutely undeveloped?Anais: no. As I flounder in my description, I say: to you, a doctor, the simplest thing is to show them to you. And I do. And then Dr. Allendy began to laugh at my fears.Dr. Allendy: perfectly feminine, small but well shaped, well outlined in proportion to the rest of your figure, such a lovely figure, all you need is a few more pounds of it. You are really lovely, so much grace of movement, charm, so much breeding and finesse of line. And I began to laugh too. But my hands are cold, my heart is beating and my face is flushed from the ordeal of the test. He is amazed by the disproportion of my self-criticism. How did these doubts begin? I had brought him a copy of my book on D. H. Lawrence. He gave me two books he had written. Probleme de la destinee. Capitalisme et Sexualite. I told him that he was helping me to live; that I had been able to confide in Henry and Fred and that Henry had written me marvelous letters on my childhood diaries. Dr. Allendy had observed the unnaturalness of my personality. As if developed in a mist, veiled. He said I had two voices, one like that of a child before its first communion, timid, almost caphonic, the other, deeper, richer. This one appears when I have a great deal of confidence. In this state I can imitate the singing of Dinah the negro singer. Dr. Allendy thinks that I have created a completely artificial personality, like a shield. I conceal myself. I have constructed a style, a manner, affable, gay, charming, and within this I am hidden. An enormous sorrow brands me at the age of nine (the loss of my father and of a glamorous European life) and makes me deviate from this light airy course forever. Grace and charm become secondary, superficiality vanishes, I begin to seek compensations. If my father left, it must be that he did not love me, and if he did not, it must have been because I was not lovable. I was going to interest him in other ways. I was going to become interesting. And I grew in debt through sadness and self-doubt. As a courtesan at the age of nine, I had already experienced failure, so I must try other ways to interest men. But why am I not satisfied with my achievements then? Because originally, what I truly wanted was a life of pleasure, luxury, travel, adulation, adventures. I asked Dr. Allendy to help me as a doctor of medicine. Was this quite a sincere action? Did I have to show him my breasts? Did I want to test my charm on him? Wasn't I pleased that he reacted so admiringly? That he gave me his books afterwards? Is Dr. Allendy really curing me?Many times, henry talks nonsense. He is flushed, eloquent, drunk, nonsensical. He gets drunk on words. Summer heat. Cafes. Henry has a few pages to show me, the first pages of his next book (Black Spring). He expected me to have written at least ten pages in my diary after the last talks. But something has happened to the woman with a notebook. I feel like letting henry do the writing. I want to enjoy the summer day. Words are secondary. Henry is correcting my first novel with care. Henry is a demon, driven by curiosity, always pumping people. Henry is always pretending callousness. is that an American disease? They are ashamed to show feeling.I am dropping my shell. I love those long nights of talk at the cafe, watching the dawn arrive, watching the sleepy workmen going to work, or having their white wine at the bistro. Children are going to school, with their black aprons and their bags of books on their backs like mountain-climbers. I carry away my red journal, but that is only a habit, for I carry away no secrets, as Henry reads the journal.I have just stood before the open window of my bedroom and I have breathed in deeply all the honeysuckle-perfumed air, the sunshine, the snowdrops of winter, the crocuses of spring, the primroses, the crooning pigeons, the trills of the birds, the entire procession of soft winds and cool smells, of frail colors and petal textured skies, the knotted snake grays of the old vine roots, the vertical shoots of young branches, the dank smell of old leaves, of wet earth of torn roots, and fresh cut grass, winter, summer, and fall, sunrises and sunsets, storms and lulls, wheat and chestnuts, wild strawberries and wild roses, violets and damp logs, burnt fields and new poppies.And then, at sixteen, resentful of controls, disillusioned with a god who had not granted my prayers (the return of my father) who performed no miracles, who left me fatherless and in a strange country, I rejected all Catholicism with exaggerationNobody knows what a magnificent pray I was for Christian legends, because of my compassion and my tenderness for human beings. Today it divides me from enjoyment of lifeJoaquin thinks that henry is a destructive force who has elected its opposite (me) to test his power on.Henry had been jealous of Fred's admiration of me.We are sitting in a monastically simple room where a moment before, Henry's typewriter crackled like a castanetAs a girl I went to confession and could not find any reprehensible acts, but highly censurable dreamsDr. Allendy sits behind this chair, where nothing betrays his presence except the rustle of paper and the sound of his pencil as he makes notesI protected and sacrificed much for my brother's musical career, made it possible. I am now helping Henry and giving all I can, to do his own work. I gave Henry my typewriter. There I think you are very wrongDr. Allendy; Perhaps you are one of those women who are friend, not an enemy of manWhenever Dr. Allendy tells me to close my eyes and relax, I begin to do my own analysisShe said: 'The other night at Montparnasse I was hurt to hear your name mentioned by men like Titus. I don't want to see cheap men crawl into your life. I feel rather protectiveHenry was washing dishes. Fred and I were drying them. His vest was unbuttoned because the discarded suit given to him is too small for him. The lapels are frayedI gave up my faith in God because he did not accomplish a miracle and bring my father back to me on my thirteenth birthday. That was my prayer and it was never answeredI collect bottles and the more they look like alchemist.