Saturday, December 01, 2007

Anais Nin would have been 105 on her next birthday February 21, 2008

A special event is being hosted at the Hammer. Details are below.


Please SAVE THE DATE Anais@105

February 12th, 20087:00 PMHammer Museum 10899 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90024-4343Anais Nin @ 105Honoring Anaϊs Nin, the writer who documented culture, artists, and her own emotional journey in a daily diary started at the age of eleven. Featuring reflections by those who knew Nin personally: electronic music pioneer Bebe Barron ( ;

writer Deena Metzger (;

architect Eric Lloyd Wright (;

and founder of the Center of Autobiographic Studies, Tristine Rainer (

Organized and hosted by Steven Reigns.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Essential Anais Nin CD: Excerpts from Her Diary and Comments In this recording, Anais Nin reads excerpts from her diary and answers questions. Unabridged. 1 CD" Caedmon/Harper Audio
And from AudioFile a review: (check the magazine for full review)
"The French author and critic Anais Nin wrote her more important works in English. Long considered of minor significance, her fiction is now gaining critical respect, while her diaries remain widely admired for her insights into the literary figures she rubber elbows with, particularly her lovers Henry Miller and......

Friday, November 09, 2007

When I was working on the diary
I became aware of a wonderful image:
relationships were very much like stellar
constellations--friendships gravitated around
the cities of my life. Paris, New York, Los Angeles, (Rome)
Anais Nin Slightly Revised

Artist Patricia Glee Smith , Otricoli, Italy

Artist Patricia Glee Smith did that little drawing of the snail mail below
many years ago for a rubberstamp site, The RubberStamp Queen. On the site she is briefly described:

Most of the stamps in our catalog were drawn by Patricia Glee Smith, an American painter and etcher who lives and works in Rome, with her Italian filmmaker husband. She is an artist involved in many archaelogical digs around the world. Her tiny drawings have graced the pages of The New Yorker, and her large etchings and paintings are in private collections around the world. Her trompe l'oeil murals have been commissioned for private residences, from an elegant palazzo in Firenze to a spacious highrise on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive

Please check out her beautiful site at:

Patricia Smith, Otricoli, Italy

She is also a frequent contributor to the spectacular daily graphic email the Italian Notebook
a free daily email about all things Italian for Italy lovers everywhere! write for further info on her posts. Since there is a new post every
day our site does not have specific addresses for her specific entries, but perhaps you
can try search engines under these terms:

"contributed by Patricia Glee Smith (see bio), accomplished artist and very involved archaeology afficionado based in Otricoli, Umbria. " and these particular articles:
Collestatte Chestnut Festival "Collestatte - All over Italy local festivities or sagre are held to celebrate harvests, saints or special foods. "

or Olive Picking "Tuscany - There are some rituals in Italy which are timeless, and have remained virually unchanged throughout the centuries. Olive picking is one of them."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

L'Escargot to Go.

Apologies for the continued snafu on posting to our guestbook (our newsboard is still working, Paul Herron one of the Foundations trustees just posted that there are 15 copies of Winter of Artifice still available!) Our server is in the midst of being moved (a very expensive propostion, the rent for the server each month is $1200 a month, so we really don't have a say in the process as we just pay a one time fee each year to a friend, who ran the site for about ten years for nothing. Although we pay a monthly maintence fee to a very fine webmaster, if a server is denying him entry because of larger issues (obviously our site is only one of hundreds on the server) there is really nothing that can be done. We apologize to all those who wish to share their thoughts with the world about Anais. Consider this a snail mail message about the overdue work. It's financial. Also the owner of the server has been working and traveling in Ireland. Once its moved these issues (caused by the fact that the website was created in 1995!) Can you believe,pre-Google, we had a clean, clear, google look before it was created?

We will post after this message, a recent exchange that was sent to me by our site's editor Donna Ippolito.

Luckily, our audio from Anais is working. We are not able to solve individual issues, but many download and hear her voice daily! So our suggestion is, try a friends computer or visit a public libary.

And really great ideas, like diary sharing (mentioned in the email exchange below) can be done by individuals doing their own blogs! Try out the idea of the newest thing since sliced bread, a blog.
Every writer and communicator can easily share their ideas easily without knowing a spec of html code or still thinking that a URL is part of a set of mountains in the steppes of central Asia (the Eurls!),,, even! should be enough to get you started.

Write a blog devoted only to Anais and we will link to you until our guestbook is back up and running. The newsboard is more important as the issues in the guestbook often arise because of people spamming. The security is heightened on the server because of this, and this good news bad news is just what we have to live with. We don't pay thousands of dollars for a web site to have it spammed. Until we had a registration process our old web maven got up daily and had to delete by hand hundreds of spam messages. Obviously we couldn't afford to keep doing this! If you feel you just can't wait to share your ideas, just post to our newsboard momentarily.

Here is the email exchange our editor sent to us.

From: Jan Johnson
To: "Rochelle L.Holt"
Subject: Sharon Spencer and Anais Nin Website
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 10:07:43 -0700 (PDT)


Thanks for your note. It is appreciated. Always a pleasure hearing from you. I still have over thirty copies of Sharon Spencer's "Dance of the Ariadnes". Still doing some brain storming on what to do with these books. Been very busy these days.

On my computer, I have difficulty accessing Anais' audio interviews. I have the right player but it is a no go. How is the Guest Book coming along ? I note there have been no visitors leaving notes. There is so much to do with Perhaps a virtual diary for the audience ? When her diaries were published, women would share with her how she changed and transformed their lives. It would be great if this can be continued with the website. Please advise.

Enjoy your stay in Bolingbrook.

Keep in touch.


Jan-Christine Johnson
3636 Sixteenth Street NW
Washington DC 20010

"Rochelle L.Holt" wrote:
I'm now in Bolingbrook outside Chgo until early Jan. I wanted to let
you know that I have several copies of Sharon's book DANCE OF THE
ARIADNES. Actually, I've dispensed with l3 boxes but have 4 boxes
here. Are you interested in a box for distribution, fundraiser, gifts
on your end? $20. which will cover shipping on my end. I paid for the
entire s/h fee for all boxes and then mailed them to l4 or so others.

Let me know

Jan Johnson wrote:
> Rochelle:
> I would have loved to met Sharon Spencer. My work screen saver is a
> picture of her, Simone, Bruce, Kazuko, Rupert, Bebe, and Renate (from
> the web site). Such a beautiful lady and an English professor at that !
> By all means, we must preserve Sharon's literature. I would be quite
> appalled if a publisher wanted to trash my writings.
> Many thanks.
> Jan-Christine
> P.S. How is Kazuko ?
> */"Rochelle L.Holt" /* wrote:
> Jan, did you know Sharon Spencer? I've taken it upon myeslf to pay
> for
> s/h of 20 boxes of books containing her DANCE OF THE ARIADNES
> which Sky
> Blue Press planned to trash. I have ten people who paid $20.
> apiece for
> a box to be mailed to them with 44 copies within. Some pay $l0 for l0
> copies but I'm interested if you knew Sharon and could disseminate
> this
> novel? Check out my latest entry on Anais site in News section.
> So glad you are writingn to preserve legacy of Rupert and others not
> that well known except in the circle.
> Rochelle
> Jan Johnson wrote:
> > Dear Rochelle:
> >
> > I am more than happy to research and write about Rupert Pole and
> his
> > family. I knew Rupert and Kazuko when I invited them to my service
> > "Anais Nin Lives!" at the Throop Memorial Unitarian-Universalist
> > Church in August 1988. Thanks to Lucia Capacchione (author of
> > "Creative Journal") who provided his telephone number to me. I
> would
> > visit with Rupert, Kazuko, and Beatrice Wood a number of times. I
> > assisted typing the ms of "Incest" from 1989-1991.
> >
> > So many memories. Rupert provided so many memories of Anais.
> >
> > Out of my love for Rupert, Anais, and Kazuko, I will publish an
> > article about his interesting family. Perhaps a small magazine or
> > . Meanwhile, I will look
> > for an editor.
> >
> > Did you know that I wrote another non-fiction piece "Discovering
> > George Grossmith in Folkestone" ? /The Gaiety/ magazine
> published it
> > in Spring 2005. Grossmith was one of the original Gilbert and
> > Sullivan performers. Here is the link:
> > .
> >
> > Always a pleasure hearing from you.
> >
> >
> > Jan-Christine Johnson
> > 3636 Sixteenth Street NW
> > #A916
> > Washington DC 20010
> >
> >
> >

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sharon Spencer's birthday was August 8th. During this time to honor her August birthday we asked Rochelle Holt to send on these memories from the Memorial Booklet funded by the Anais Nin Estate.

The first is by Donna Ippolito
by Donna Ippolito

Rose of Sharon blooms by day. Among petals pink, rose, mauve, and purple, its center is a thick gold pistil, hard and reaching. Rose of Sharon blooms by day, but with falling light, the petals draw shut like shy young hands….

Child of the sun, lover of whirling skirts, she longed to be a dancer, child of the wind. Harsh, the sun stills hot music, the bare dancing feet. It burns, tearing through to the center, and she must create or be consumed.

She lives on the brink. there is in her a fierceness, a love of red cotton dresses and sandals, an urge to bare breasts to sun. But at the moment of abandon comes another fury. Urgent, from deep in the body comes the need to shape. Language is her clay. She loves to work it until words round into one another, fluid as smoke, light as small bells ringing in the wind. Words come first on the pulse, on the heat of breath. Words dance in the blood like a woman among trees, and language is a song….

Rhombus, rebus, sphere, square. Sharon loves puzzles, patterns, and shapes. How does it work? How does it stand? How many sides has it, and what is the relation of one to another? With a builder’s love of space, she pursues the mystery of form, all the while forming herself….

*I wrote this piece years and years ago when I first met Sharon

The second by Anais Nin's Japanese translator and friend. Kazuko Sugisaki

by Kazuko Sugisaki

Sharon was like white silk, folded into many layers, pure, delicate, lustrous, resilient,
comforting. Sharon was like black iron, firm, stable, strong, sustaining the foundation of many souls. Sharon was like blooming hydrangea, a cluster of small seven-colored flowers forming a perfect sphere, fragrant, abundant. Sharon IS like a Japanese Miko, a shaman woman, who walks freely over that red curved bridge, crossing the boundary between this world and the other, transcending time and space, transmitting messages, feelings, thoughts, unspoken yet understood, penetrating the impenetrable.

Sharon did not die. Sharon is not dead. Sharon simply decided to live…over there, in another part of the garden, across the red curved bridge, that part where ancient music sounding like miniature bells, like a lone bamboo flute, weaves through pine branches that bend and touch the mirror water, where a half moon floats sustaining the balance of day and night. Sharon decided to live there…because the purple mist of jacaranda is too thick here on our shore, she decided, knowing anytime, she can cross again that red curved bridge….

Mother of All, we are dying
of the old laws. Oh, Mother Moon,
give us we pray, a law to live by,
Come Quickly. Come. Come. Come.*

(p.26 WIRE RIMS by Sharon Spencer
Heinemann Ed. Books ’95)

*”Invocation to the Mayan Moon Goddess” first appeared in ’88 in Women on War: Essential Voices for the Nuclear Age ed. by Daniela Gioseffi (American Book Award winner l990)

The third is by Rochelle Holt:

from “Persephone’s Call,” intro by Rochelle Lynn Holt

….We met face to face when Anais invited us with a few others to read with her at the U of California in Berkeley in ’72 which began a deep friendship that lasted thirty years. Sharon was the sister I always wanted and never had….

I admired and respected Sharon as a scholar, novelist, educator and critic. She became the major critic whose body of non-conventional criticism on Anais Nin remains the most in-depth and primary source available for the past two decades….

All who met or knew Sharon were drawn to her charismatic personality, her keen mind, her deep and genuine concern for all minorities….

Renate Druks in Sharon’s edited essay collection, Anais, Art & Artists in l986 included Anais’ credo, “A Celebration of Life” as part of her memorial tribute on Jan. 5 ’77. “Let’s celebrate the individual struggle to create a world of freedom, beauty and love.” That so fits my dearest friend, my sister, Sharon Spencer, a beautiful and independent writer, a woman who touched me and everyone who met her so deeply.

(Excerpts from the memorial magazine SHARON SPENCER edited by Rochelle Lynn Holt (Rose Shell Press ’77) and funded by the Anais Nin Estate. A few copies are still available for $8. each. Contact

This Email from Rochelle Holt, please also check out her discussion in our
news and event board.( Our guestbook is having problems. Apologies!)the news and event board seems to be working.

Early August ’07, Sharon’s publisher of Dance of the Ariadnes (Sky Blue Press ’98) informed me that the book would be recycled unless I cared to acquire them. This novel

is a major work in Sharon’s career. I could not allow it to be forgotten forever. That’s

why I enlist any of you who cared about her to contact me to see if you can sell the book

for whatever price you desire. Perhaps you will donate the sales to this wonderful site

that keeps alive the memory of Anais Nin and her Circle as well as myriad friends worldwide. If you would like to purchase one copy, send $l0. + $2. s/h to Rochelle Holt,

15223 Coral Isle Ct., Ft Myers, FL 33919 from November ’07 toMay ’08. Sept/Oct ’07 and June-November ’08, send to R. Holt, 5 Sunshine Ct. Bolingbrook, IL 60490

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Essential Anais Nin CD: Excerpts from her Diary and Comments (Caedmon Essentials) [ABRIDGED] [AUDIOBOOK] (Audio CD Just out. Anais Nin Author/ Anais Nin Narrator.

Order using our Anais Nin Amazon Bookstore Link.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Gotham City, Superman couldn't save the Gotham. This just in from my friend Adele Aldridge.

"I hope you get this - without the Gotham we would never have met"

Anais is mentioned in this article this morning in the New York Times, on the sad end of Gotham Book Mart.

Here is the permalink to this morning's article. to the article on the non-arrival of Superman with a bookbag.

It is in this revered bookstore that I came with friend, author, anthologist and literary critic William Rossa Cole and learned about the Celebration Weekend, brainchild of Adele and Valerie Harms.

Cole introduced me to Ms. Steloff, and as soon as his back was turned (he disliked Nin and called all of her readers "ninnies") I said breathlessly, as only a young Chicagoan could say after just being taken to lunch at the Algonquin, "Oh Frances, I read about you in the Diaries". At that moment, she waved me into her inner office and gave me a flyer for the weekend which she was part of, with her dear friend Anais.

As readers of her diaries know, when Anais left Paris because of the war, she sent her books to Frances Steloff of the Gotham Book Mart. Valerie has written a portrait of Frances in her book, Stars in My Sky. Although only one star (Nin) is written about in the portrait on our site, if one finds a copy of Valerie's original book the portrait of Frances Steloff is striking. Find a copy at the best kept secret on finding out of print books on the web: Abe Books

Photo used above by Steven Reigns

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Interview with Anais Nin from 1972

Our site's editor, Donna Ippolito
wrote us this email about an interview with Anais from 1972

I found this interview by accident while searching for something to do with D.H. Lawrence.

Have you seen this? If it's unpublished, maybe it's something for the site.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Maria Newman house, Malibu CA 1994 (designed by Eric Wright) photo by Maria Newman
Article From the Santa Monica Mirror Vol. 8, Issue 44 April 12 -

Eric Wright: Organic Architecture, Anais Nin And More
David Charles, Special to the Mirror
On top of a mountain overlooking the coast from Palos Verdes to Malibu lives one of our creative treasures, architect Eric Lloyd Wright, son of Lloyd Wright, grandson of Frank Lloyd Wright. It is an idyllic setting. There are coastal live oaks and valley oaks all around, a pond surrounded by sycamores, an orchard with citrus, plums, avocados, peaches and apricots. And, of course, an organic vegetable garden. Huge boulders spot the grounds like perfect accents.
We talked in his offices which consist of two trailers connected by a deck and a roof. It's solid and simple with a patio built around two sides. We're sitting in a dining area inside while Mary, his wife, is cooking in the kitchen which is actually one of the trailers —also inside. We are outside the trailer, but inside the structure. It's an interesting situation, one that makes more sense after talking with this lively and engaging man of seventy-seven years. His grandfather had a full blown working career well into his later years and talking with Eric, I sense the same heartiness—his curiosity, vitality and total immersion in life characterize a creative life going strong.
D: What are your inspirations right now?
E: Nature. What goes on around me in nature, that's my biggest inspiration.
D: How do you keep in touch?
E: One of the reasons I moved up here and work the way I do, having my office and my home on my site is that I get to be in tune with it all the time here.
D: Has that been consistent from your first days working, that nature was an inspiration?
E: Yes. That's always been the basis of the architecture that I've worked with through my father and my grandfather. My grandfather took the word organic architecture. He called it organic architecture and that was working with nature, looking at nature, studying it. And, of course, it takes in more than just what we think of as nature. When you do a house, you take in the nature of the person which you're building the house for— their nature, how they want to live, how they want to use the house.
D: Can you give me an example?
E: My brother's house was the first house that I designed and had built. His companion was a very well known writer, Anais Nin. They lived together. They didn't have any children but they loved to entertain. They had four or five parties a week, soirées.
D: This is the 50's? 60's?
E: This is the 50's and 60's. The house was started in 1960. They didn't have a lot of money. The original house was around 1200 sq. ft. and most of it we put into the living room. We made it so that there was just one bedroom and a little study for Anais, a bathroom and living room. The dining area was part of the living room and it wrapped around into a kitchen behind the fireplace. So it was all one big flowing space. Instead of a wall between the master bedroom and the living room we put a folding partition which you could open so that the master bedroom was part of the living room and you could entertain in that whole space. Well, that's taking into account the needs of the client, how they want to live. The dining room, living room and master bedroom could be opened up into one large space. But I told them that if you make the master bedroom part of the living room you have to make your bed. (laughs) You've got to keep the room clean. But it worked out very well, and in fact, once we put the partition in they left it open all the time. It just sat there. Actually, the rollers have broken and you can't close it now.
D: What part of town is that in?
E: Silverlake, right across from the reservoir near Echo Park.
D: So that would be an example of what your grandfather meant when he said, "The reality of the building does not consist in the roof and walls but in the space within."
E: That comes from the idea that architecture is a germ idea. It starts with the idea and it grows out from the center. So, in doing my schematic designs, I usually start with a site plan. I look at the whole site and decide where the best situation for the house will be. I block out a very rough floor plan/idea of sitting on the site. And I start with that floor plan and then I work it until it's in the right situation for that site and it's fitting in. Then from that I start developing the floor plan so that it includes all the things that we need, the various rooms and functions, taking into consideration where the view is, how the sun is, where the wind comes in–all those elements of the natural site. So that I start really with the floor plan—the "interior space" when I begin to develop the house, after I've sited it. Then I'll cut a couple of sections through there and develop sections. I first create a two-dimensional space in the plan, then I start doing the three-dimensional space with these cross sections of the building because I can see relationships of heights. When I do that I like to get different height levels if possible to make an interest in the flow of space. Once I get the sections where I like them and they're working with the plan, then I do the elevations, then I do the final exterior. So the exterior has been shaped by what's going on inside the building. That's organic architecture. When you finally end up with the exterior shell it's an expression of what's inside—just like a seashell. It allows you also to have any number of forms because that's the way seashells and other forms are.
D: Have you seen the properties of organic architecture filter down into middle class houses?
E: Oh, yeah. I think that one of the big influences that organic architecture had was on the ranch house which you'll find in a lot of subdivisions today. It was much more prevalent in the 50's, 60's and 70's, but it had an open floor plan. You go into a lot of these tract homes and they'll have an open plan. They'll have a living room with a dining area offset from it and a kitchen around the wall with no doors. That openness came out of organic architecture. The Victorian was all boxes. You had your own separate dining room, living room, little entry box and so on. You went from box to box to box. Here, this opened it up. It made a flow plan. And that was all based on the interior space. And then, of course, there's the concept of working that interior space to be in conjunction with the outer space. So that you didn't feel a separation, that there was a continuous movement from inside to outside. A lot of that is accomplished with, of course, glass, opening it up. For instance, on my front entry, I have no corner post, the glass is mitered. When you do that, it opens the room up. Where you have a post, your eye goes right to the post. Without it, your eye takes in the whole panorama around to the next post. So, it opens up the corner, it doesn't box it in and the space continues to the outside. Another thing is the materials you have inside Say I have concrete block outside—you bring that inside as well, so there's a continuous flow. You don't just stop at the door and say, I've got plaster here and have stone out there, you wrap that around.
D: What do you see as the obstacles to organic architecture becoming more a part of our daily experience?
E: A couple things. It's not new, it's very old, but people are used to certain styles and forms of architecture. They like the Tudor and the French and so on and go for the style rather than the substance of the thing. It's a lot easier to teach certain forms of architecture in the universities. Organic architecture is rather hard to teach. It's very complex. And there are very many different ways of tackling it. It's basically set up like a fractal system in nature. Nature works on many small parts making up the whole and each part is related to the whole. Well, in our stock housing and so forth, it's easier to make boxes and put them together than it is to make these more complex forms that you see in nature. Synthesizing those forms of nature for human development take more work.
D: Do you get excited about new materials that you see or read about?
E: I get excited about them all. I think they all have possibilities if they're used for their nature. I don't like it when they take plastic and make it look like wood. You can get plastic shingles they make look like wood. Well, if they have it like plastic then that might be interesting, but to imitate a wood shingle, that's something else. I look forward to new materials. One of the problems is you look at something and think this is a great idea, I could use this special block for walls…for instance, cement that has insulation mixed together to make a light-weight block…these things are all interesting, but it turns out that they become expensive because the contractors are not used to working with those materials. They like their old 2x4's, they're used to that. It makes it difficult when you enter with new materials. I think where you have to go with all of this is that there's just going have to be manufactured housing.
D: Manufactured housing?
E: Yes. That's like factory built.
D: A whole prefab house?
E: A whole prefab house, yes. For most people. The costs have just gone out the window.
D: I see you have a geodesic dome in your yard. What's that about?
E: A friend is trying to convince me to work with him on a project with the domes. I don't like just the geodesic dome itself. It's a rather static form because it's symmetrical all they way around. But if you start combining two or three domes and interlocking them so they aren't' just standing separately, but like bubbles, then I think you can do something interesting. So we're sort of looking at that.
D: If someone were to take an architectural tour of Los Angeles what are some sites you'd recommend?
E: Well, one would be my father's building [Lloyd Wright], Wayfarer's Chapel in Palos Verdes. That's a very important building. And there four concrete block houses by my grandfather which are very interesting and unique buildings. Probably right now the best one is the Storer House, it's in the best condition.
D: Is that the one that David Lynch lives in? On Franklin?
E: No, David Lynch lives in my father's house, off of Outpost Drive.
D: The one on Franklin is my grandfather's, the Soden residence. That's a very interesting house. There is a gem of a house of my grandfather's in Brentwood, the Sturges house. You can't get inside, but you can see it from the outside. Marvelous little house. There's the Taggart. There's his own house on Doheny Dr. That's important because it was his studio.
D: Can one visit that?
E: Not easily. These are all private houses. The only one open to the public would be Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Park. There is another FLW building open to the public, but it's not properly taken care of and they've ruined it with signs and things. It's a commercial building on Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills. It used to be called the Ardmore Court. I don't know what they call it now. It's quite unique. It's not a flat front. It's three-dimensional set back with a little courtyard right off the sidewalk. It's a three-story building and you go up a hexagonal ramp to service the different levels of stores. It's quite unique. People have a hard time with it, but I think it's because it hasn't been properly used.
D: What about expanding that tour outside of Los Angeles?
E: The Guggenheim in New York.
D: You worked on that, how was that experience?
E: It was very good. I was a working draftsman. I've had better experiences because there were so many of us working on it and I only did a small amount of work on it. Other buildings that I've worked on more completely were the Walker residence in Carmel and the Tonkens residence in Cincinnati.
Other great buildings I'd recommend seeing are the Japanese Palace in Kyoto (Name?). Then there's the Portola in Llhasa where the Dalai Lama lives.
D: How did the Wright Organic Resource Center come about?
E: Well, some friends got together to form an organization to help me build my house. And I felt that was a wonderful gesture, but I said that if I was going to make an organization and spend that time, I'd really like to make a non-profit organization that promoted organic architecture and use the property for events.
D: What kind of activities does the WORC sponsor?
E: We sponsor workshops in sustainable architecture, sustainable materials. We've had workshops on Cobb architecture, on solar energy, the first hybrid cars. We've had bamboo workshops, all kinds of things. Usually, we can take 40-50 people and we always try to have half of them be students from South Central LA. There are kids from Locke, Belvedere and another high school that come up and be part of the workshop and sometimes stay overnight. For some of them it's their first time to be out camping and they're so amazed. We don't have a lot of stars, but you can see more than you can in the city and they're amazed at that. I remember one morning serving breakfast to them and one of the boys said, "God, it's so quiet up here. I can't get over it. No sirens, no gunshots." I thought, my God, what an environment these kids are living in. They need a little taste of what it is to be out in nature, beyond the human nature.
Just then, Mary Wright (who is a wonderful artist) enters:
M: What's going to happen now, is this Summer solstice, there'll be 18 kids who have not had a nature experience and they'll work together with Eve. They'll come up, spend the night and be part of the solstice. Then we'll arrange a come back and touch base, you know it'll be ongoing. We haven't had that in the past.
D: Are you always looking for sponsors?
E: Oh, yeah. The problem is that right now, Kevin and Hannah who are heading up the Wright Way—they're my chief associates and work in the office, so it's pretty hard running the whole thing. That's why we've hooked up with this woman who's very interested in doing these workshops for inner city kids.
D: What advice would you give to new architectural students?
E: Well, I think the best advice is to try and understand the principles of nature—what nature is…looking at nature, looking at how, when you see trees, they have the central stem that comes up and then they have the cantilevered limbs. They're not just coming straight up out of the ground, they have a trunk and then they come out. So, there is this sense of hovering out over the ground. I always feel that's an interesting thing for buildings. And you really want to be true to the nature of the materials that you're going to be using. I think you need to have to have a certain background in structural solutions and how you do structural calculations. That's extremely important and it's not very well covered in the schools. I think one ought to study natural architecture, architecture done by native cultures throughout the world.
D: Because they're more in touch with nature?
E: Yes, especially the Japanese, the Chinese and well, the native Americans. Can't find a better structure than a teepee. Talk about a mobile trailer home. A beautiful, handsome structure, very simple. It's in a circular form which is one of the best forms for people to sit and talk and be together and sit in a circle. I think also that students of architecture should do a lot of drawing and going out in nature and painting, cultivating the artist's sense, the artist's eye. It helps you with form and color. And if you combine that with structural engineering you've got an architect. But they don't do that in schools. They don't study art. It used to be that they taught you how to draw a building and how to draw perspective and do all that, but now you don't even learn that. It's all on the computer. You learn the computer. So everything is with the computer, you don't know how to use a pencil. They come here and they can't draw.
D: What is lost?
E: I think what is lost is the sense of the eye coming from right into the hand and the pencil and what you're drawing. You've lost something when you have to hold the mouse and click on and look on the screen. You're not drawing that, you're controlling it and it's not the same. When I draw with a pencil I can change the weight of line and press and I can come quickly in and shape. You can't do that with the computer. It's a process that you have to stop and think, now I have to put in the shape thing and then I have to stretch this and this and this. It actually takes longer to make a rendering, a really good rendering. You can do a very quick mechanical rendering on the computer, but it's rather stiff, cold, whereas when you draw by hand it's more alive. They've lost that sense of feeling of artistic quality and it's made them more mechanical.
D: It's sort of one step away from nature.
E: That's right.
D: An important step.
E: And I think that's why so much modern architecture now looks so mechanical. It looks like expanded factories. Or it's rather cold, mechanistic looking, machine derived.
D: What do you think of Gehry's Disney Hall?
E: Gehry's Disney Hall is not organic architecture, although people say, well that's a wonderful form and shape. Well that shape, the outer shape is not formed from the inner building. If you go into Disney Hall, it's a box basically, rectilinear with rounded corners. And a very nice space—the seating is too tight—but it has somewhat of a good feeling. Wood is wonderful as an acoustic material. But that's completely different from what's outside. I see nothing of the inside space reflected in the outside form. So, really what Frank Gehry is doing is sculpture. He builds a box, a building inside which you work in, usually a box, and then he puts this piece of sculpture on top of it. And that's not the way of organic architecture.
D: Goethe called architecture frozen music. Accepting that for the moment, what music is emanating from your structures?
E: Ah, well, I like to think probably Bach would be the closest. Because it has a geometric structure, at least that's what I sense when I hear it. Of course Beethoven is marvelous. His later music is very abstract, but Bach would be a closer analogy.
D: What are your plans for the future?
E: To press on with the work I'm doing. We're involved in a project making affordable housing in East LA. Also, we're doing a mixed-use project in Altadena. I'm very interested that—the public and it's relation to the commercial sphere and how we relate it and make it more human than it has become, especially here in LA. A pet thing that I'd love to do, would be to design an elementary school that would be completely integrated with the natural environment. So that the kids would be involved with the landscaping. The school would be part of the landscape, the landscape would be part of the school so that they would feel the sense of nature where they're learning. They can have a garden and then they eat the things out of the garden so that they get the fresh natural food that they've grown, so they'll appreciate it. They're always much more willing to eat a salad if they've grown the lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes. Then the idea, too, would be that I would love to have that based—kindergarten and the first two grades—based on the Froebel system.
D: Who is Froebel?
E: He's a German philosopher who actually created kindergarten around 1840 in Germany. He devised this system for children learning to abstract from nature. Klee and Mondrian were both trained in the Froebel system. And my grandfather was trained in it.
D: You're describing building a school so that the system of teaching could be integrated—
E: — in the school itself. And the children would help with taking care of the planting and the landscaping.
D: So, just like your grandfather wanting to integrate the outside with the inside even going so far as to design furniture that goes with it, you've found that influence in your own thinking?
E: Oh, yeah. The problem that we have with the furniture—which is not easy to design—chairs—a good chair is harder to design than a good building... The architect should be able to do the whole thing. Unfortunately, it's very expensive so by the time the people get the building built they haven't got enough money or energy left to get into furniture.
D: They end up at Ikea.
E: Right. Usually, I try, though I'm not always successful, to do the dining room furniture, at least the dining room table and chairs. My grandfather in the early days, labor was cheap and so upper middle class people could afford to have the whole house furnished. He would do the draperies. Once, he had two women clients who had him design their clothes for them to go with the house!
D: Could you share with us a story or two about Frank Lloyd Wright?
E: There is a story about my grandfather that I always thought was very telling about his character. We were working on the drawings for the Guggenheim Museum and everybody involved was working in the drafting room. We had two damns and had made two beautiful ponds below Taliesin with a beautiful rock spillway with earth all around the sides. But the earth had shot out and broken away and a day after the damn had broken my grandfather called for me. I went over there and he said, " I want everybody out there helping you down at the damn." So, I went over there and spoke with grandfather's chief associate (Wes Peters), and I told Wes, Grandfather wants everyone out of the draftroom and down at the damn. And he shouted, "He can't do that! He can't do that! I'll go over and talk to him." So, I waited there and about twenty minutes later Wes came back and said, "Okay, everybody, out, down to the damn." And it took us two or three days. I often wondered about that, I mean, here was his biggest and most important project. But I figured that more important to my grandfather was the space he lived in, the environment he was living in. And he didn't want that muddy hole down there festering under the building. That's what was important to him–the way he lived, how he lived, what his environment was. Was it beautiful? You make it beautiful. If you can't get your own environment in shape, how in the hell can you help anybody else? You've got to be working in this atmosphere of beauty. And, of course, we got the drawings done. As my grandfather always said, "Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves."
I remember another time, again working on the damn a couple of years later. It had a hole in it and there was a stake truck stuck in the mud of the damn. My grandfather was standing there, he always loved that, out working with the equipment. He liked watching over the construction projects. I was getting ready to go over and get the bulldozer. Brandock, who is also a grandson of his, had a couple of Percherons that he'd been raising— they're big work horses. He had two beautiful big ones and he said, "I'll pull it out with the Percherons" And I said, "Brandock, they won't do it, they can't do it. This is too heavy. We have to get the bull dozer." "Well, I think I can do it." And Grandfather says, "Eric, let Brandock get the horses." And I said, "Wait a minute. Are we gonna waste all this time—" "Let Brandock get the horses," insists Grandfather. So, Brandock went and harnessed them up, came over, hooked them up and tried to pull, you know, and couldn't quite do it. I started to say something and Grandfather called me aside and said, "I wanted to do this to help Brandock, you know, give him confidence…and," a flush of emotion rises up in Eric as he finishes his grandfather's words, "…you don't want to destroy that." I understood then what he was about. He had the time. We had the time. Let him [Brandock] try his work for what he could do. People always think of my grandfather as being the egotist, the one who has to just do his thing and we're all there to support it. There was that element. There had to be that element or he couldn't have done what he did. And I think you find this with most great individuals. But there were a lot of sides to my grandfather.

Eric Lloyd Wright & Associates
Phone: 818.591.8992
Fax: 818.591.0116

Thursday, April 12, 2007

How to use a journal for self guidance and expanded creativity. Rainer's The New Diary. This is a book that will inspire even the most seasoned writer.
This classic which has sold over 200,000 copies, has been recently updated with a new preface.

"Diary Writing has become an increasingly popular activity. To answer a need for more knowledge about it I taught a course with my friend Tristine Rainer, who has been studying the diary for many years."
Anais Nin December 1976, Preface to The New Diary

Tristine Rainer Ph.D was a confident, friend and colleague of Anais. Rainer has been often quoted lately in articles on Anais Nin and Rupert Pole. Currently she can be reached through her Center for Autobiographical Studies

"Tristine Rainer, Ph.D, is a pioneer in the fields of contemporary journal writing and narrative autobiography. Her book The New Diary, how to use a journal for self-guidance and expanded creativity has sold over 200,000 copies and has been used as a text in university Psychology and Occupational Therapy courses, although her degree was in English Lit. After a quarter of a century in print The New Diary will see a new, revised edition in 2004. Her book Your Life as Story, Writing the New Autobiography, published in 1997 hit the Los Angeles Times bestseller list and is presently being used as a text in many college writing programs"

Sunday, March 25, 2007

We were just forwarded this article from GadFly Online entitled Anais Nin, Writer or Perfume written by artist Judy Chicago a year after Nin died.

Judy Chicago is an artist, feminist, and writer whose career spans nearly four decades. As an artist she has been highly influential, exploring a varity of media and addressing issues of gender, ethnicity, and power. Her best known work, The Dinner Party, has been exhibited across the world. In addition to her artistic achievements, she was also responsible for pioneering feminist art education, setting up study programs at Fresno State University, the California Institute of the Arts, and the Los Angeles Women's Building. She has published seven books, including two autobiographical texts, Through the Flower and Beyond the Flower. She lives in Belen, New Mexico, with her husband, Donald Woodman, and their seven cats.

Monday, March 05, 2007

You Tube and Anais Nin
Steven Reigns has suggested a video of the French song, Anais Nin.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Thanks to Steven Reigns for sending on birthday greetings to us for Anais's birthday on February 21st. Steven's support of the site has been astounding. He has contributed time and energy and his annotating of the Nin Audios has been an invaluable addition to the site. As important as Sharon Spencer's Forever well as the introduction of all the missing Swallow Press information. We are deeply appreciative of his continued help. Steven is a rare blend of scholar and activist artist.Our site wouldn't have the new additions we have today, such as the What's new Button or this blog, if it wasn't for his quiet behind the scenes work.

Rebecca also posted to the guestbook and news and message boards with a lovely quote of Anais's.

"When we walked the streets, bodies close together, arm in arm, 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 together through the grey 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." - Anais Nin

We also appreciate Suzanne Graeber's sending us on a couple of links via Eric Lloyd Wright's assistant Lori on recent articles that have appeared.
The first is a wonderful article from the Malibu Times that we might have missed on Eric Lloyd Wright and his wife, artist Mary Wright. Eric was Rupert Pole's half brother and was the architect who designed Anais and Rupert's House of Light, in Silverlake. Actually the piece is a two fold article, The first - from Malibu Times Magazine -is a dual piece with the separate stories of Mary and Eric, as well as some history on the Wright Land.

Another article that appeared in the New York Times Magazine( the last Sunday of the New Year(12/31/06)entitled, The Lover Who Always Stays by Sara Corbett. If this link does not work, please register with the Times and access it through their site or go to your local library and check in the newspaper archives. The photo is by Jill Krementz, who also did the photo for the Anais Nin Reader. Ms.Krementz graciously allowed us permission to use the photography of Rupert and Anais that appears elsewhere on our site as well as in this New York Times piece. The article leads to a bio of Rupert, chronicling his relationship with Anais Nin, taken from the New York Times Magazine year end edition titled The Lives They Lived.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Steven Reigns has suggested a video of the French song, Anais Nin.
Anais Nin & Y Yevtushenko, KQED

May 25, 1972

The sound quality is not high on this recording and the interviewer asks the generalist of questions. It is a joint interview with Nin and post-Stalin Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko. It is unclear who is giving the interview and Lawrence Ferlinghetti is thanked at the end.
Nin talks about growth, hers and the growth of women. She reads excerpts selected by John Pierson about personal relationships and intimacy. Nin is then asked to defend her position on political action. she states that we need to "work on the quality of the human being first, and that will effect the system." She says that inner lives are not a luxury. Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko fields questions about his beliefs of poetry. Nin interjects and gives what she believes is the "women's perspective." Yevtushenko jovially replies, "I almost agree with you." The remaining interview is primarily focused on the poet. An interpreter helps Yevtushenko explain the connection between poet and woman. Nin later states how there are conflicts between being a women and a writer. The interviewers are less generous with Nin and seem slightly aggressive in their questions with both writhers. Nin ends with talking about her process of diary writing and why she continues to write in it, "There is a truth you get from the instantaneous impression that memory does change. So, you can come a bit close to what you felt on that day, in that moment."

This "summary" of the Anais Nin Audio Files was written by Steven Reigns.
Steven Reigns ( ) is a poet, artist, and educator living in Los Angeles. A collector of Nin memorabilia and a latent Nin scholar, he has been interested in Nin since 1991.

AnaisNin-YYevtushenkoKQEp3 D.m
The Creative Woman in America Today, University of Chicago

November 5, 1972 (A Woman Speaks lists this as being published in the Hyde Parker)

After a long welcoming applause, Nin begins by explaining that she is not using her "authentic" voice, that she has had laryngitis and "did not want to fail" the audience by canceling. Nin lectures of how fame helps one connect with a wider world, her awareness of others isolation and the necessity of support and sustenance. She converses about Carl Jung's "second birth" and of her struggles, "What I learned as a woman in the progression of the diary was that trap, in which I was caught, which was living in a traditional marriage in the suburb of Paris—which is just like a suburb of Chicago…this struggle to find yourself and your path is more difficult for women and sometimes more tragic." There are comments on "human handicaps" and how for women, "The arts have given us a source of strength and solace." Nin speaks about her inner journey leading her to others. How her involvement in causes did not consume all of her, that she reserved time and energy for her inner work. Nin then takes audience questions. Nin's reputation for being the darling of the lecture circuit in the early 70s is easily understandable when listening to her interact with the students. Her responses are respectful, thoughtful, and even humorous. "Most people gave the impression that when you start introspection, you're going to stay there and never come out again. I wanted to prove that introspection lead somewhere, it lead outward." She answers a question about the parallels between the women's liberation and black people in America. Her response is refreshingly open for 1972, especially for a woman at age 69. She relates her own experience as a foreigner. She then fields a question about women's eroticism in literature and her own past of writing erotica. The questioner says that she would like Nin to publish the erotic writings. Nin responds "Well, I'm thinking about that. I wrote about a thousand pages at the time. I'm still working on editing the diaries and I haven't been able to think about much else." These writings were later published to become Delta of Venus, Little Birds, and White Stains. The talk then moves to relationships and the male/female dynamic, "The romantic thinks we can find the perfect relationship at first sight, but I found that a permanent relationship requited as much care and creation as others. I think somehow man, because of the cultural demands put on him and the stress put on him, has looked at the development of woman more as a threat and as a rivalry than as an enrichment to his own life." She talks about exclusion and the concept of too much introspection, "we don't need to be impersonal to create." She ends with discussing the illusion of connection due to media, her feelings on America, and how her writing has allowed her a center of strength.

This "summary" of the Anais Nin Audio Files was written by Steven Reigns.
Steven Reigns ( ) is a poet, artist, and educator living in Los Angeles. A collector of Nin memorabilia and a latent Nin scholar, he has been interested in Nin since 1991.


AnaisNin-The Creative Woman In America Today.mp3
Women & Writing

January 24, 1972-Northwestern University

This lecture opens up with Nin describing a Furrawn, "a kind of talk that leads to intimacy." She reads a well known passage about her, Miller, and Durrell in Paris and how at the moment described she knew she had to go another way, "the woman's way." Nin then reports about the importance of relating and intimacy, logic and the nature of emotions. Nin discusses the first diary, Sei Shōnagon's The Pillow Book. The lecure continues about the public's unwillingness to accept the same quality in women's writings that they accept from men. Nin states "The personal world of women, to some extent, saved her from this plague of alienation." Nin lectures about women's books that have come "too soon" and how the public was not ready for such books. She gives the names of authors and explains the books they have written. She tells of how DH Lawrence read his girlfriend's diary to know her better and to discover the language of women's feelings, emotions, and intuition. Nin expresses the need of language for women and how the diary shows the more she wrote the clearer she thought. "That finally by writing, I taught myself how to talk with others." Nin stays focused on the topic of women and writing but also uses her speech to encourage women to write their inner lives. She relays a story about Zelda Fitzgerald and how Zelda relinquished the publication of her own diary after F. Scott stated he needed her diary for his writing material. Nin sees Zelda as giving up something (writing) that could have saved her. She asks the audience if they would like to ask questions now, to approach her afterward, or for her to read another passage. She ends by reading a passage about Cities of the Interior and the evolution of women finding her own language

This "summary" of the Anais Nin Audio Files was written by Steven Reigns.
Steven Reigns ( ) is a poet, artist, and educator living in Los Angeles. A collector of Nin memorabilia and a latent Nin scholar, he has been interested in Nin since 1991.

Studs Terkel Interview January 1972, Northwestern University

A musical intro is interrupted with Nin reading from her fourth Diary. This passage could have been written today as she talks about technology and how it has a potential to create greater distances, not bridge them.

"We have reached a hastier and superficial rhythm, now that we believe we are in touch with a greater amount of people, more people, more countries. This is the allusions which might cheat us of being in touch deeply with the one breathing right next to us. It is a dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephone, take the place of human intimacies, and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater, and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision."

Terkel talks about the young's attraction to her work. Nin talks about her relationship with them, about Edmund Wilson not remaining open as he aged and how all of her other artist friends have remained open. Nin talks about Under a Glass Bell "This book which seems to be all fantasy and actually every one of those stories is based on a real persons, on a real situation, they begin in reality and take their roots in reality….then I embroider on that." They discuss Nin's houseboat, the story and themes of displacement. They discuss DH Lawrence and his relationship with feminism. Nin quotes him and says how she is not as harsh on Lawrence as others. Terkel prompts Nin to read a passage about woman and her conflicts to find her own language and discove her own feelings. Nin mentions her personal issue from growing up, "I had a sense of guilt about creating and being successful before my brothers were." Nin is pleased the diary gives her a way to examine her own growth, "The mystery of growth was always terribly interesting to me as a child."

Nin remains steadfast in her appreciate of men and what they had given her, "I used man's knowledge and that is why I am grateful for him, whether it was psychology…I took what was useful and left the rest. I learned from them, I learned freedom from Miller and converted it into feminine terms. I don't think we need to let certain things stand in the way, we need to convert them." Nin then discusses her feelings on analysis, "analysis is only for when we get troubled." They talk about the press and Nin reads a passage about Gonzalo. Terkel is familiar with Nin's work and seems charmed with her. He is highly familiar with her writings and prompts her numerous times to read passages. His analysis of the work is astute and Nin even comments on his reading of her work, "You seem compassionate in your reading of these characters." One of Nin's final comments, "I do not like dogma and will not wage war on man." The end the interview discussing how the conversation could easily continue and they discuss the origins and pronunciation of her name.

This "summary" of the Anais Nin Audio Files was written by Steven Reigns.
Steven Reigns ( ) is a poet, artist, and educator living in Los Angeles. A collector of Nin memorabilia and a latent Nin scholar, he has been interested in Nin since 1991.

AnaisNin-StudsTerkel Jan1972.mp3

Host: Robert Cromie, March 1, 1972

( A Woman Speaks lists this interview on January 22, 1972.)

Nin talks about the diary and its origins as a letter to her father, stating even that it should really be called a "journal" and not a "diary." She describes the difficulty of publishing the Diaries and the reasons for editing people out of the published version. She explores her connection to the young, calling Gore "arrogant" and talks of how he had changed from when she first met him. She loves the young and "what they might become." The conversation moves into war, politics, and her involvement in the feminist movement. Nin converses about converting her "anger into action" and how she self-published her books on her own press, the first book edition of 300, and her mistake of dividing the word "love." Gonzales is not mentioned but there is talk of Edmund Wilson and her relationship with him. She also discusses the evolution of her friendship with Henry Miller. Nin reports about Maya Deren's direction and how she now has a greater understanding of Deren's going against actor's safety and wishes, "The film was more important than ourselves." Nin states how she doesn't drink and how it might have interfered with her relationships with American authors who bonded over drinking. She reflects, "I'm in harmony with my life now." Cromie is a kind and skilled interviewer who is clearly familiar with Nin's work. This interview was after the publication of Diary 4.

This "summary" of the Anais Nin Audio Files was written by Steven Reigns.
Steven Reigns ( ) is a poet, artist, and educator living in Los Angeles. A collector of Nin memorabilia and a latent Nin scholar, he has been interested in Nin since 1991.

Anais Nin Audio Files:

We will be officially posting these summaries on our what's new page
when our web site is updated by Anais Nin's birthday February 21st. We are
posting individual "snippets" of the summaries Steven Reigns wrote, with immediate links to the audio files he has summarized because everyone who has read them has responded so enthusiastically to his words.

I'm so pleased to help with this project for the site. I quoted Nin as much as possible. I didn't want to review the work as much as I wanted to summarize it. My desire was to create a guide for scholars and fans. If one wants to hear about her feelings on Vidal, they can quickly skim the summaries to determine which recording would be of interest.

After listening to the audio several times, I had a feeling that I had read what she was saying. I went to A Woman Speaks to discover Hinz used several of the recordings in her collection. I did spot an inconsistency with the date of the Cromie interview, and I added the specific day to the Women & Writing lecture.

Since these were all recorded around the same time, Nin repeated herself often. I've tried to highlight the non-repetitive comments.

--Steven Reigns

Steven Reigns ( ) is a poet, artist, and educator living in Los Angeles. A collector of Nin memorabilia and a latent Nin scholar, he has been interested in Nin since 1991.