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Henry and June: From A Journal of Love: the Unexpurgated Diary of Anais… (1986)

by Anaïs Nin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin (1931-1932), Diary of Anais Nin (15)

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2,133276,314 (3.77)22
This bestseller covers a single momentous year during Nin's life in Paris, when she met Henry Miller and his wife, June. "Closer to what many sexually adventuresome women experience than almost anything I've ever read....I found it a very erotic book and profoundly liberating" (Alice Walker). The source of a major motion picture from Universal. Preface by Rupert Pole; Index.… (more)
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» See also 22 mentions

English (22)  Swedish (2)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (27)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Taken more or less directly from the extremely detailed journals of Anaïs Nin, This collection documents the intense year of her life when she first met Henry Miller and his wife June. Being a diary it can of course at times become a little self-indulgent, but the beauty, fluidity, and unflinchingly raw humanism of Nin’s writing stops the reader from rolling their eyes too much and offering an incredible chance to dive head first into the heart and soul of a creatively brilliant and incredibly curious human being. That is not to say that she is without flaws; But it would be a complete mistake and ignorant simplification to reduce this book to self indulgent erotica, or dismiss it because its author is not a very nice person, because there is a lot more going on there than smut.

Nin’s discussions of sexuality and love are just brilliant. Asking carefully thought-out questions and being as honest as she can be at the time, Nin examines and analyses her relationships with the men in her life, and with the most significant woman, June.

Anais is determined to analyze and try to understand every aspect of her emotional life. She possesses a remarkable self awareness that allows her to view herself almost as a separate person objectively reflecting back on the past days or weeks events.
( )
  chasingholden | Apr 26, 2022 |
Taken more or less directly from the extremely detailed journals of Anaïs Nin, This collection documents the intense year of her life when she first met Henry Miller and his wife June. Being a diary it can of course at times become a little self-indulgent, but the beauty, fluidity, and unflinchingly raw humanism of Nin’s writing stops the reader from rolling their eyes too much and offering an incredible chance to dive head first into the heart and soul of a creatively brilliant and incredibly curious human being. That is not to say that she is without flaws; But it would be a complete mistake and ignorant simplification to reduce this book to self indulgent erotica, or dismiss it because its author is not a very nice person, because there is a lot more going on there than smut.

Nin’s discussions of sexuality and love are just brilliant. Asking carefully thought-out questions and being as honest as she can be at the time, Nin examines and analyses her relationships with the men in her life, and with the most significant woman, June.

Anais is determined to analyze and try to understand every aspect of her emotional life. She possesses a remarkable self awareness that allows her to view herself almost as a separate person objectively reflecting back on the past days or weeks events. ( )
  chasingholden | Apr 26, 2022 |
The Expurgated, Unexpurgated Version
Review of the Harcourt Harvest paperback edition (1989) of the original Houghton Mifflin Harcourt hardcover "Henry and June: From the Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin" (1986)

See photographs at https://divagancias.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/henry-miller-june-mansfield-a...
Photographs of Anaïs Nin, Henry Miller and June Miller, sourced from Divagancias.com

This was a re-read as background to my recent read of Léonie Bischoff's graphic novel Anaïs Nin - Sur la mer des mensonges (Anaïs Nin - On the Sea of Lies) (2020). As this paperback edition dates from the time of its film adaptation Henry and June (1990) dir. Philip Kaufman, I think that I only picked it up due to the film. I have a vague idea that I didn't actually finish it at the time as it was somewhat tedious.

I pushed through this time just in order to see the parallels to Bischoff's graphic novel adaptation. I did have the same reaction to the tedious repetition of Nin's various real or imagined flirtations, loves & affairs which included Lawrence Drake, John Erskine, husband Hugo Guiler, writer Henry Miller and his wife June Miller, her cousin Eduardo, her dance teacher Francisco Miralles Arnau and two psychoanalysts: René Félix Allendy and Otto Rank. It is probably the regular psychoanalyst visits that made me start to think that a lot of it might be Freudian fantasy and wish fulfillment. Henry and June stops short of the (yech!) paternal incest covered in the follow-up Incest: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1932-1934 (1992), but the yearning for a lost father figure (father Joaquín Nin had deserted the family in Nin's youth) seems to be evident regardless.

What also becomes evident is that much of Nin's life seems to be left out of this "Unexpurgated" version. The parts that appeared in the earlier The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 1 1931-1934 (1966) are not all repeated. This also seems evident from Bischoff's adaptation which has a dozen pages dedicated to Nin's dancing lessons and performances which I think are only mentioned in a single sentence in the new edition. ( )
  alanteder | Oct 11, 2021 |
The sensual yet morally-dubious companion to volume one of Anaïs Nin's expurgated journal.

Just when I thought Nin could not be more open and frank* with exposing herself in her diaries, these unexpurgated excerpts take me even deeper into her psyche. Her fears and deceptions and desires, all laid out, the uncertainties layered with inchoate convictions that melt into more uncertainties.

It could very well be that her entire diary is mere narcissism and performative, what with her obsessive recording of dialogues and letters and emotions, and with her willingness to give her diaries for her acquaintances to read. Yet the mellifluous way she writes and the rawness of the senses she so successfully conveys - her words thrumming with such intensity and honesty -, it's all so touchingly and embarrassingly human.

*it's odd to claim that the expurgated version is honest when Nin purposely cut out very pertinent events, claiming to wish to protect her husband Hugh. Yet even after reading the unexpurgated version, my first reading still doesn't feel like a lie by omission. Nin still comes across as incredibly candid (as much as she could be in that instant at that particular time).

Aside: June features so little, even in Henry and Anais' subconscious, that to read this without having read the corresponding expurgated journal would only be confusing the reader as to the attraction of the titular characters.

Sympathy: poor poor Hugh. I would like to read his version of events. I feel like he knew but just didn't want to know or have it confirmed for him. ( )
  kitzyl | Nov 5, 2020 |
I made it almost 50 pages into this book & realized Anais Nin was a selfish whore.
I'm all for discovering & exploring your sexuality...but not with multiple partners when you're married.

The writing's not great. Not bad...but not great.

I felt like I was reading a 16 yr old girl's diary...only with better vocabulary...and more sex.

( )
  PiperUp | Aug 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nin, Anaïsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ferguson, MargarethaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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My cousin Eduardo came to Louveciennes yesterday.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This bestseller covers a single momentous year during Nin's life in Paris, when she met Henry Miller and his wife, June. "Closer to what many sexually adventuresome women experience than almost anything I've ever read....I found it a very erotic book and profoundly liberating" (Alice Walker). The source of a major motion picture from Universal. Preface by Rupert Pole; Index.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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