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In Delta of Venus Anaïs Nin penned a lush, magical world where the characters of her imagination possess the most universal of desires and exceptional of talents. Among these provocative stories, a Hungarian adventurer seduces wealthy women then vanishes with their money; a veiled woman selects strangers from a chic restaurant for private trysts; and a Parisian hatmaker na In Delta of Venus Anaïs Nin penned a lush, magical world where the characters of her imagination possess the most universal of desires and exceptional of talents. Among these provocative stories, a Hungarian adventurer seduces wealthy women then vanishes with their money; a veiled woman selects strangers from a chic restaurant for private trysts; and a Parisian hatmaker named Mathilde leaves her husband for the opium dens of Peru. Delta of Venus is an extraordinarily rich and exotic collection from the master of erotic writing.


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In Delta of Venus Anaïs Nin penned a lush, magical world where the characters of her imagination possess the most universal of desires and exceptional of talents. Among these provocative stories, a Hungarian adventurer seduces wealthy women then vanishes with their money; a veiled woman selects strangers from a chic restaurant for private trysts; and a Parisian hatmaker na In Delta of Venus Anaïs Nin penned a lush, magical world where the characters of her imagination possess the most universal of desires and exceptional of talents. Among these provocative stories, a Hungarian adventurer seduces wealthy women then vanishes with their money; a veiled woman selects strangers from a chic restaurant for private trysts; and a Parisian hatmaker named Mathilde leaves her husband for the opium dens of Peru. Delta of Venus is an extraordinarily rich and exotic collection from the master of erotic writing.

30 review for Delta of Venus

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I was first introduced to Anais Nin by my boyfriend, who bought me a first edition of Little Birds on Valentines Day a couple of years ago. I was surprised to discover that it wasn't raunchy or esoteric at all, but very accessible, very beautiful, and (naturally) very sensual. At an estate sale recently I came across Delta of Venus and picked it up partly out of interest in Nin's writing and partly because it was a vintage book and I love vintage books. Delta of Venus is far sexier than Little B I was first introduced to Anais Nin by my boyfriend, who bought me a first edition of Little Birds on Valentines Day a couple of years ago. I was surprised to discover that it wasn't raunchy or esoteric at all, but very accessible, very beautiful, and (naturally) very sensual. At an estate sale recently I came across Delta of Venus and picked it up partly out of interest in Nin's writing and partly because it was a vintage book and I love vintage books. Delta of Venus is far sexier than Little Birds to be sure, but the beauty of Nin is that no matter how racy she gets, it's never distasteful or off-putting like a lot of erotica can be, just for the sake of shock value. Nin's erotica is sensual not only because of the sex that the characters are engaging in, but because the entire time you're reading you're reminded that Nin was writing in the 1930s, when sex was relatively freer than the puritanical decades before, but not nearly as free as the sex we know (and are numb to) today. Thus there's an inherent tension created from the restraint of the characters as they toe the line of social decorum, taboos, and what was/wasn't acceptable sexually at the time, as well as attempt to understand and temper (or, most often, indulge) their lust and experimental curiosities. Nin's erotica isn't dirty or depraved at all...rather, it's beautifully written, imbued with surprising insights and psychology, and, best of all, is written from a woman's perspective...and not in an in-your-face "I'm an empowered, sexual female, hear me roar" kind of way. There's something for everyone here...unless you like your erotica to be more of the Hustler ilk. (Ew.) None of that here. I highly recommend any of Nin's work if you're at all curious about erotica (or even you're not...you'll like it, I promise).

  2. 4 out of 5

    Warwick

    I was rereading bits of this last night after seeing several one- or two-star reviews of it pop up in my feed recently. And scanning through some of the other GR reviews here, there's a lot of people objecting that it's ‘icky’ – one reviewer lists all the things that feature in Delta, things like incest, rape, paedophilia, and then just says, ‘Ew, right?’ WELL NO NOT EW ACTUALLY. I mean yes, ew, if you like, of course a lot of these things may not be very appealing depending on your tastes, but m I was rereading bits of this last night after seeing several one- or two-star reviews of it pop up in my feed recently. And scanning through some of the other GR reviews here, there's a lot of people objecting that it's ‘icky’ – one reviewer lists all the things that feature in Delta, things like incest, rape, paedophilia, and then just says, ‘Ew, right?’ WELL NO NOT EW ACTUALLY. I mean yes, ew, if you like, of course a lot of these things may not be very appealing depending on your tastes, but more fundamentally I just think this is a misunderstanding of the genre. The whole point of erotica is often not so much to turn you on as to go to places that other writing cannot – to break down taboos. Like other kinds of genre fiction, it should be mind-expanding. In the same way that, for instance, science-fiction or fantasy tries to conjure up other civilisations in order to contextualise our own, so erotica is the one genre which gets to look at social conventions one by one and imagine what would happen if they didn't exist or if they were systematically ignored. The idea is to open you up to new experiences, and it's often meant to be unsettling and challenging rather than arousing – although certainly one key motive is to prompt that unexpected jolt from the reader where an internal voice says, Whoa, why do I find that idea so hot? I thought I'd dealt with all this in therapy. Having made the counter-intuitive case that good erotica isn't necessarily sexy – Exhibits A and B being de Sade and Bataille – I should say that Anaïs Nin is nowhere near as far along the scale as those two. Her writing is – well I won't say ‘sexy’, because that's so subjective (one man's boring theme exercise being another woman's dependable two a.m. go-to), but it is definitely rich and sensual and I think there is a lot to admire about her prose style. Here we go, let's check out some hot Pierre-on-Elena action: He was in France without papers, risking arrest. For greater security Elena hid him at the apartment of a friend who was away. They met every day now. He liked to meet her in the darkness, so that before they could see each other's face, their hands became aware of the other's presence. Like blind people, they felt each other's body, lingering in the warmest curves, making the same trajectory each time; knowing by touch the places where the skin was softest and tenderest and where it was stronger and exposed to daylight; where, on the neck, the heartbeat was echoed; where the nerves shivered as the hand came nearer to the center, between the legs. This is typical of her approach, which makes use of a lot of short, simple clauses, either separated into different sentences, fairytale-like, or strung together with semicolons into long, dreamy bouts of poetic description. She applies this ruthless sensuality equally to the sex and to the moments of violence or sadism that crop up in the book. I am far from the world's biggest Anaïs Nin fan, but I do think it is important that we have a woman finally writing about this kind of thing, rather than what we had for hundreds of years previously, viz. men guessing what women thought about it. I'm thinking John Cleland, Pierre Louÿs, et hundreds of al. Nin always prompted a lot of varied reactions from other women, some thinking, Finally someone is saying it, and others being more like, Whoa there, speak for yourself, sister. Meanwhile men's excitement was split between the stuff they recognised (‘women think like us!’) and the stuff that seemed new (‘women don't think like us!’). I do think it's interesting that you can draw a line from Delta of Venus in the 1940s right through to, let's say, Nancy Friday's Women on Top in 1991, and see that most of the themes have barely changed at all. I don't think Delta of Venus is a great book, but I do think it's an interesting and important one and I have a real soft spot for it. Of course in real life Anaïs Nin was as mad as a box of frogs, but she was the right person at the right time and I like a lot of what's in here – as the reviews show, it still has the power to challenge people today, when you might think the whole thing would have seemed rather passé. ‘Don't burn someone's genitals...it is NOT OK,’ says one reviewer earnestly. Well, yes, fair enough…it's just as well then that this isn't fucking reportage, it's a piece of creative writing. Jesus. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be in my bunk going over page 117 again.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Aubrey

    3.5/5 Let's get one thing straight. This is erotica. Erotica erotica erotica erotica erotica. You know that phenomenon when you say something so many times that it temporarily loses its meaning? Firstly, it's a psychological phenomenon known as semantic satiation. Secondly, that's what I'm trying to do here with the word 'erotica'. Erotica erotica erotica erotica erotica. Run through that a few more times if you haven't sufficiently stripped yourself of assumptions, contextual peripheries, and al 3.5/5 Let's get one thing straight. This is erotica. Erotica erotica erotica erotica erotica. You know that phenomenon when you say something so many times that it temporarily loses its meaning? Firstly, it's a psychological phenomenon known as semantic satiation. Secondly, that's what I'm trying to do here with the word 'erotica'. Erotica erotica erotica erotica erotica. Run through that a few more times if you haven't sufficiently stripped yourself of assumptions, contextual peripheries, and all other sorts of ideological clutter. Also, don't even think of the word 'porn'. This isn't one-two-hup-hup-hup gratification on the simplest level of human biological stimulation. This is literature. Feeling free of all that? Good. Because the theme that I'm working through in this review is this: erotica is a genre of wasted potential. You heard me. Wasted potential. Just look at its current representative in the popular media. Not only is it a ripoff of a fanfiction of Twilight, a book that is an advocate of both poor writing and abusive relationships, it manages to compound both of those qualities to even more horrendous levels. Thanks to that book, the misconceptions regarding the more eclectic sexual activities have never been more horrible or widespread. I'm not even going to try to discuss the writing. Now, let's return to the book at hand. Delta of Venus was published in 1977, thirty-four years before 50SoG. Had the erotica genre been taken seriously at any time since then, it could have been a game changer. Perhaps not for the quality of writing, which comes nowhere close to the masters, but not only does it cover a wide variety of sexual situations in unflinching physical detail without the slightest hint of judgment, it also touches on a huge number of issues that are present in how society treats sexual matters today (Yes, once again I am deconstructing societal issues. If you don't like it, shoo. You have the rest of the Internet. This place is mine.) These issues include: varieties of sexuality, sociocultural gender constraints, patriarchal oppression, proper conductance of BDSM, fetishes ranging from pedophilia to necrophilia to gerontophilia to myriad objects, scents, textures, you name it, Nin's probably mentioned it. While her writing isn't the most prettily poetic thing under the sun, what it does accomplish is show exactly what is running through the participants' minds without once fetishizing abusive or bigoted aspects of sexuality, as well as get the reader comfortable with parts of the anatomy that society for whatever reason has an attitude both puritanical and childish towards. When you can't use the word 'vagina' when discussing abortion issues in governmental procedures, you know something's extremely wrong with the world. I know there is literature out there that deals with the more uneasy aspects of sexual issues, even some like Lolita that are widely praised by the literary community. That doesn't change the fact that the genre of erotica is largely met with titters and contempt when it isn't banned outright, and the majority of its literature is filled with connotations of unrealistic sexual dynamics, borderline abusive situations, and frankly just a lot of bad writing. When it comes to sociocultural progress, I see no catalyst more powerful than that of literature, especially literature that survives and thrives for centuries well into present times. Out of every genre of literature, the least likely to be taught in classrooms is that of erotica. Maybe you'll get a book that involves rape, or one that hints at homosexual liaisons, or perhaps relationships deemed illicit by reason of race, class, or culture. It is highly unlikely that a book that details sexual relations both healthy and unrestricted by stereotypes will ever make its way into the classroom without being met by childish behavior by both the students and their parents. Not while sexual education ignores the ramifications of rape culture, the realities of relationships fluid in both gender and sexual preferences, and the harmful effects of the ideologically constraining concepts of masculinity and femininity. No representation in classrooms leads to infantile reactions to it in reality leads to barely any incentive for writers to try their hand at it. It's a vicious cycle. So, next time you see someone with 50SoG, inform them that there is a much better book out there called Delta of Venus that is not only erotica, but classic erotica. They probably won't ignorantly enjoy it as much as the former, but one hopes it will get them thinking. A much better end result, in my mind.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    This collection forces you to examine your pre-conceived notions of erotica - at least, I did. If you think you'll start reading this all respectable in your best readerly librarian's glasses, then a few pages in, change into "something more comfortable", and finish in dire need of the coldest shower ever, you're probably wrong. There's something for everyone here, and I mean EVERYONE, including necrophiliacs, pedophiles, sadists, and those with any number of other kinks. Yuck, right? Yuck, exce This collection forces you to examine your pre-conceived notions of erotica - at least, I did. If you think you'll start reading this all respectable in your best readerly librarian's glasses, then a few pages in, change into "something more comfortable", and finish in dire need of the coldest shower ever, you're probably wrong. There's something for everyone here, and I mean EVERYONE, including necrophiliacs, pedophiles, sadists, and those with any number of other kinks. Yuck, right? Yuck, except you can't really extricate yourself that easily. Nin turns the reader into a voyeur, observing and therefore a passive participant in all kinds of 'deviant' behaviour. She also plays this nasty little trick of drawing you into something that looks sexy, but then, with a high pitched cackle, punishing you with a shocking and vile ending. Hahaha! she says. Getting turned on, are ya? Here's a knife in your crotch! (No, I'm not even exaggerating.) I read this collection slowly, one story per week, which I think is the best way to read Nin's work. Read any quicker, and it will be like pouring a whole jar of honey down your throat - sickeningly sweet and what a mess. I found the shortest stories to be the most successful because they are focused and pack a punch that I appreciated more as time went by. The longer ones tend to have more sexy scenes but are less effective because they meander from encounter to encounter without much connecting them. I got the sense that she was being paid by the page in those stories - and she was! It is so difficult to write sex, well. I'm not going to say that she did that all the way through this book. She definitely has her moments, though, and each reader's copy will have a dog-eared page or two, depending on what floats your boat. I think we continue to read Anais Nin's work because yes, she was one of the first women to write this way. And also because there's an unabashed, crazy (let's face it, she was loony as a fruitcake) honesty about her. A woman, writing honestly about sex? That will never lose appeal. As one of her characters says: 'Why do women make such a secret and mystery of it all? They think it destroys their mystery but it is not true. And here you come out and say just what you felt. It is wonderful.' And the female character responds: 'I believe in saying it. There are enough mysteries, and these do not help our enjoyment of each other.' So, what is erotica? Does it serve to arouse, sexually? Or does it educate, break taboos, open awareness, strip naked secret fantasies? I think Nin's stories do all these things. Though I often found myself saying but... YUCK... now that I've read the collection, I'm not at all sorry I did. I guess you could say I was seduced. Damn.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    Wow. I mean, I had never heard of this until recently when I had been dared to read it, and yes, I knew that I was getting into heavy erotica, but I hadn't expected it to be so damn good. Seriously. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was almost completely unable to stand up during most of the read, and because I was using text-t0-speech, that mean being rather unpleasantly surprised as I was up and about during my day. I wanted to scream out, "Oh, come on!" or "This isn't Fair!" at random people as I Wow. I mean, I had never heard of this until recently when I had been dared to read it, and yes, I knew that I was getting into heavy erotica, but I hadn't expected it to be so damn good. Seriously. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was almost completely unable to stand up during most of the read, and because I was using text-t0-speech, that mean being rather unpleasantly surprised as I was up and about during my day. I wanted to scream out, "Oh, come on!" or "This isn't Fair!" at random people as I was reading. And then, at various moments, I pondered the great mystery of why so many men don't read this kind of romance. It's very easy, my dear women. In fact's extremely hard to hide the fact. Forget about all the scoffing and the hems and the haws and all the condescending humor that jerky men use to explain why they don't read this stuff. It's all baloney. This book is full of really good stuff. Extremely good stuff: from the pure writing, the interweaving themes and characters and the way that the individual stories make up a much grander story of sexuality, right down the purely expert and sensual eroticism of the sex acts themselves. I've never read better, but I'll admit that most of what I've read has really been quite horrible. Even so, I'm amazed at how sensual she can turn all these kinds of turns, or even the direction she takes them. So many of my own sensibilities were shocked and disturbed as I read a few particularly difficult scenes, but as a whole, the entire book was truly amazing. Perhaps all that illicit and taboo material functions fantastically as the spice that tips us in and out of our complacency and into the deeper animal parts of us that love to be shocked, allowing us to enjoy the rest of the tales like we're getting away with something even more absolutely naughty than it really might be. Seriously, if every erotic writer or if ANY writer including a sex scene might take a page out of her book, so many of the greatest crimes against sex might be rectified. Seriously, people, this is Literature, plain and simple, with a freedom applied to women's sensuality that is really quite brilliant. It should be studied, applauded, and copied. Alas. I hope her writing is always remembered. :)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Fabian

    A kaleidescopic array of tantalizing erotica. An "epidemic of erotic journals" that's indispensable to the most insatiable of sex aficionados. It is the best of its type; no doubt this may be the bible of this literary black-sheep genre! It smolders, it quickens the pulse (even if you're gay, even if you're a prude, even if you believe that this is not "your cup-a tea"). The charm of this experiment, or, "seeing (of) sexual experience from a woman's point of view" lies in its Russian Nesting dol A kaleidescopic array of tantalizing erotica. An "epidemic of erotic journals" that's indispensable to the most insatiable of sex aficionados. It is the best of its type; no doubt this may be the bible of this literary black-sheep genre! It smolders, it quickens the pulse (even if you're gay, even if you're a prude, even if you believe that this is not "your cup-a tea"). The charm of this experiment, or, "seeing (of) sexual experience from a woman's point of view" lies in its Russian Nesting dolls "plot", in which stories are found inside stories within stories, and characters (artists, mostly) are met & their fates follow divergent paths of sexual contest, of sexual victory. Taboos/erotic proclivities include disguises, underwear, exhibitionism, rape, almost-rape, homosexuality, bisexuality, unfaithfulness, incest, necrophilia, bestiality, child pornography... But this is not within the parameters of Sade Park. No. It's classy, it's dreamy, it's lush, & in a league all its own. Powerfully provocative, evocative, & because it's at once hilarious & heartbreaking. REAL.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    Tricky one...Is there any way to write well about sex? Too much metaphor and the words themselves are destroyed in an orgy of filth, too little and it can become cold and clinical. The issues of gender politics, the fluidity of sexuality and sexual identity, and different sexual kinks also come into play. It’s a fine tightrope to balance on. And it disturbed me early on with the mention of children, oh God, this better not be anything like 120 Days of Sodom!, thankfully not, what follows are dee Tricky one...Is there any way to write well about sex? Too much metaphor and the words themselves are destroyed in an orgy of filth, too little and it can become cold and clinical. The issues of gender politics, the fluidity of sexuality and sexual identity, and different sexual kinks also come into play. It’s a fine tightrope to balance on. And it disturbed me early on with the mention of children, oh God, this better not be anything like 120 Days of Sodom!, thankfully not, what follows are deeply engaging chronicles of interconnected sexual episodes, which I have to say took me by surprise as to just how explicit they were. I was expecting lines like "he fondled her breasts", or "he gently stroked her inner thighs whilst gazing into her eyes", yes there are indeed lines along these lines, two thirds of the time though it's mostly pornographic in detail, which I won't go into detail on, I am sure we are all old enough to get the picture. Nin—“the madam of a house of literary prostitution”—in the 1940s, was commissioned to write by an anonymous collector, who demanded that she “leave out the poetry” of sex. Thankfully Nin ignored him, and her stories contain a strong sense of the poetic mixed with the sensual, especially highlighted by her emphasis on the exotic, both in character and locale, another thing that surprised me was the fact just how well she wrote, it's dirty, but always engaging. This enabled Nin to present a sexual freedom which was incredibly forward-looking for the time, and especially revolutionary from a female perspective. Even now reading this in the 21st century still shocked me at it's content. While the characters and their situations are fun and enjoyable, it only really worked for me on the longer stories, giving more of a chance to take the characters in, and Nin fills here and there with moments of pathos and yearning which are saved mainly for the second half of the book. The final episode, which deals with war breaking out and the dream coming to an end, even has a Fitzgerald like quality which definitely outshines what went beforehand. It's a bit over 200 pages in length but still felt overly long, maybe down to the fact it did have a repetitive nature, the word Penis seemed to get mentioned about a million times. The last third I felt it's strongest point. For me a three star read, but when writing of sex at least the book did feature five star orgasms!.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I think you have to be a little on the sick and twisted to get off on this book. Well, parts of it. Here are some examples of the icky ickiness Anais Nin writes about in Delta of Venus. -Dude lays in bed early in the morning, and some kids who live in the house come in and horse play around his room. He gets a hard on and encourages them to frolic about on top of the covers. -Same dude, decades later, takes custody of his teenage son and daughter. Then he fucks 'em. -A different dude burns some lad I think you have to be a little on the sick and twisted to get off on this book. Well, parts of it. Here are some examples of the icky ickiness Anais Nin writes about in Delta of Venus. -Dude lays in bed early in the morning, and some kids who live in the house come in and horse play around his room. He gets a hard on and encourages them to frolic about on top of the covers. -Same dude, decades later, takes custody of his teenage son and daughter. Then he fucks 'em. -A different dude burns some lady's cootch with a hot pipe. -Another dude helps some man take a dead body out of the river and then he fucks the dead body while water pours out of her orifices. -A lady rides a horse bareback, and gets all horny from the feel of the horse's rough coat against her clit. -etc Ew, right? I mean, she does have some good stuff in the book, but honestly, it's so overshadowed by the ick, that it's hard to lose oneself in the writing. That being said, I'll admit that the reason we read Anais Nin in 2009 is to gain some perspective on the history of erotica, moreso than for sexy fun times. There's no doubt that Nin was remarkable--after all, she's female working in a male-dominated industry--but her writing is flat and stale (kinda like this review). Very few of her stories were fleshed out, and I found that she was missing the intense emotional connection I'd expect from a woman writer; the poeticism is noticeably absent. I'm completely and utterly disappointed. Maybe I set my expectations too high... Here's the blurb on the back of the book (this edition published in the 1970s): Thirty-five years ago, Anais Nin created the female language for sexuality. She did it for a wealthy male patron for $1.00 a page. He ordered her to "leave out the poetry," but she simply couldn't. The publication of Delta of Venus now makes available to the rest of us the seductive, erotic and full-bodied nature of her writing. And it reveals Anais Nin as a woman ahead of her time. Well Mr. (or Ms.) Blurbist, you couldn't be farther from the truth. Or further. Whatever.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    A broke Anais Nin wrote porn at a dollar a page for an unknown collector who kept telling her to write less literary crap, more of the in and out. Which infuriated her, because she thought he was destroying everything interesting about sex. Which is basically the same debate people are having today about internet porn. And she keeps punishing him for it. In one story a woman has an erotic opium experience, and it's pretty hot I guess, and then suddenly it's like (view spoiler)["And then the guy a A broke Anais Nin wrote porn at a dollar a page for an unknown collector who kept telling her to write less literary crap, more of the in and out. Which infuriated her, because she thought he was destroying everything interesting about sex. Which is basically the same debate people are having today about internet porn. And she keeps punishing him for it. In one story a woman has an erotic opium experience, and it's pretty hot I guess, and then suddenly it's like (view spoiler)["And then the guy almost slashed her vagina up because he was a psycho! The end." (hide spoiler)] Which is basically just Nin (An-eye-EESS NEEN) saying "Ha ha, I killed your boner." In the first story, a dashing guy who's basically The Most Interesting Man in the World from the Dos Equis commercials is bored by normal sex and starts seeking out increasingly perverse experiences. So the first bit, where there's this hot singer lady who goes around to the private booths after her act and blows guys, is - again - pretty hot; but by the end of the story, (view spoiler)[he's trying to shove his cock into his sleeping preteen son's mouth. (hide spoiler)] And that's also a debate that continues today: some anti-porn folks say that the ubiquity of porn encourages people to search out ever-more-extreme forms just to find something new. For what it's worth, anecdotally, this has not been my experience. So the book is like the porno version of a kitty who rolls on her back for you and you reach out to rub her stomach and she shreds your hand with no warning. Which, the thing with that is, you never do learn.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    AUTHOR WEBCAM!! - Hi there… my name’s Anais, what’s yours? - Oh, er… hi Anais! My name’s Pau---- Manny. My name is Manny. - Hi Manny. How are you tonight? - Oh I'm fine thank you. Er.... you have a great laptop there. - Why thank you! It’s a Lenovo Ideapad. Do you think it looks cute? - Oh…yes. - You should see the things I can do with it. - Mm hmmm. - What would you like to see me do Manny? Would you like to see me … type? Or…correct a manuscript? Do you want me to call my publisher? I can complain abo AUTHOR WEBCAM!! - Hi there… my name’s Anais, what’s yours? - Oh, er… hi Anais! My name’s Pau---- Manny. My name is Manny. - Hi Manny. How are you tonight? - Oh I'm fine thank you. Er.... you have a great laptop there. - Why thank you! It’s a Lenovo Ideapad. Do you think it looks cute? - Oh…yes. - You should see the things I can do with it. - Mm hmmm. - What would you like to see me do Manny? Would you like to see me … type? Or…correct a manuscript? Do you want me to call my publisher? I can complain about royalty payments if you want – I complain really well. You know - if you have a publisher we could complain together. - Could you… could you compose some erotica right now? - Of course I could, Manny! Now, would you like that to be in long luxurious leisurely sentences with metaphors clustered like grapes hanging from a vine turning golden pale in the Tuscany sun? Or would you like it to be urgent, short, sharp, like a James Ellroy sex doll, no word over four letters? - Please… just do what you feel you’re into, Anais. - Why thank you Manny, you’re a gentleman. All right. Let's see now...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ian "Marvin" Graye

    Less Poetry! Most of the stories in "Delta of Venus" were written under a quasi-Oulipean constraint: they were commissioned by a collector of erotica who specified, "Concentrate on sex. Leave out the poetry." Anais Nin initially complied. However, "I began to write tongue-in-cheek, to become outlandish, inventive, and so exaggerated that I thought he would realise I was caricaturing sexuality." Back came the response, "Less poetry." The collector was looking for explicit, clinically precise descrip Less Poetry! Most of the stories in "Delta of Venus" were written under a quasi-Oulipean constraint: they were commissioned by a collector of erotica who specified, "Concentrate on sex. Leave out the poetry." Anais Nin initially complied. However, "I began to write tongue-in-cheek, to become outlandish, inventive, and so exaggerated that I thought he would realise I was caricaturing sexuality." Back came the response, "Less poetry." The collector was looking for explicit, clinically precise description of sexual activity. Pandora's Box Nin duly complied, within limits, and what we read on the page is the result. However, notwithstanding the brief, she wrote with a simple, economical elegance that qualifies as both literature and erotica. The intrinsic quality of her writing couldn't help but intrude. Nin was trying to escape "the clinical, the scientific, which only captures what the body feels". She wanted to go beyond the flesh into the senses and the heart, and via them into the essence and ecstasy of a sexually voracious woman: “I had a feeling that Pandora's box contained the mysteries of woman's sensuality, so different from a man's and for which man's language was so inadequate. The language of sex had yet to be invented. The language of the senses was yet to be explored.” A New Language Apart from any erotic appeal, what's stimulating about "Delta of Venus" is the sense that we're witnessing the invention of a new language. There's also a different perspective on sex. Only one story is written in the first person. As a result, in the remainder, "they" are doing this to each other, and therefore it's implicitly "you and I", "we", doing it, not an implied male "me" doing it to an implied female "you". While the reader might be gendered, the writer allows us to witness both aspects of the one act, the two sides of the one coin. We don't automatically adopt the perspective of the male, we don't look through the peep-hole of the male gaze. This Little Kernel The stories as a whole focus on a woman's "sex", the vulva, the delta of Venus (the goddess who was "born of the sea with this little kernel of salty honey in her, which only caresses could bring out of the hidden recesses of her body"). For all the anatomical detail, much attention is still given to the surroundings within which sexual activity takes place and fantasies are realised: "Just as you felt like making love on top of my fur bed, I always feel like making love where there are hangings and curtains and materials on the walls, where it is like a womb. I always feel like making love where there is great deal of red. Also where there are mirrors." The characters are realistically drawn, not just caricatures, and we accumulate enough biographical detail over the course of the stories to feel we know them as well as any protagonists in literary fiction. We just know more about their sex lives. Into the Groove Whether inevitably or by design, more and more lyrical sentences slip past the embargo on poetry. Here are some of Nin's interjaculations that I noted on my journey through her sensuous world: "His decisiveness in small acts gave her the feeling that he would equally wave aside all obstacles to his greatest desires." "Talking together is a form of intercourse. You and I exist together in all the delirious countries of the sexual world. You draw me into the marvellous. Your smile keeps a mesmeric flow." "The first time I felt an orgasm with John, I wept because it was so strong and so marvellous that I did not believe it could happen over and over again." "She marvelled at the continuity of their exultation. She wondered when their love would enter a period of repose." The Exquisite Torment of the Ecstatic Wound Then there are descriptive phrases like these: "ripe for the final possession...the sensitive opening...the little cry of the ecstatic wound...the core of her sensations...the shadowy folds of her sexual secrets...all the fluids of desire seeping along the silver shadows of her legs...a connoisseur, a gourmet, of women's jewel boxes...that first tear of pleasure...this gradual and ceremonious courtship of her senses...[an orgasm that] came like an exquisite torment...the full effulgence of their pleasure..." Even if some of them sound familiar from more recent porn or sexually explicit fiction, what is special is that the style was created or appropriated by a woman for a woman's purposes over and above the male commission and the Oulipean constraint. Some of the artist remains in the output. This is a ground-breaking and thoroughly enjoyable collection of stories. More stories from this period were published in the sequel "Little Birds". Footnote: "L'Origine du Monde" For anyone familiar with Courbet's "L'origine du monde", the last story contains an interesting allusion: "Courbet...painted a torso, with a carefully designed sex, in contortions of pleasure, clutching at a penis that came out of a bush of very black hair." This version of the painting might well be apocryphal. However, whether or not it ever existed, it's a metaphor that gives equal weight to all comers in the contest documented by Nin's stories. SOUNDTRACK: Madonna - "Into The Groove" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52iW3...

  12. 5 out of 5

    ~Bookishly~

    Now, this book, I'm finding difficult to rate. While I enjoyed quite a lot of what this book explored, there was some of it that was too much for me, and that, coming from me, is seriously saying something. Anais Nin, covers a variety of sexual subjects, some of those being exhibitionism, homosexuality, lesbianism, sadomachism and pedophilia. I have absolutely no preference to any of those subjects, and I feel easy reading about them, all except pedophilia. I was surprised that this book dabbled Now, this book, I'm finding difficult to rate. While I enjoyed quite a lot of what this book explored, there was some of it that was too much for me, and that, coming from me, is seriously saying something. Anais Nin, covers a variety of sexual subjects, some of those being exhibitionism, homosexuality, lesbianism, sadomachism and pedophilia. I have absolutely no preference to any of those subjects, and I feel easy reading about them, all except pedophilia. I was surprised that this book dabbled in that kind of area, and I skimmed the pages where that was present, as for me, it made for uncomfortable reading. Apart from that, this book makes for sensual erotica, and considering it was written in the 40's, it was masterfully done. Anais Nin, is almost poetic in her writing, sometimes making the reader feel what the characters are feeling, and that takes talent. The characters are richly textured, and I could even connect to some of those characters. Unfortunately, I did notice a sort of pattern with the stories, if you like. I felt like it was repetitive in the sense that a troubled, depressed but gorgeous female needs some male attention, and then happens to meet a headstrong, possessive male, and then for days they go into hiding, making love all day and night, lots of orgasms involved etc.. I could just tell that Anais Nin wrote this for entertainment and fulfillment for a male, and if you read this, it is highly evident. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed this book, and appreciated the writing style immensely. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Abubakar Mehdi

    Basically, Its a book about horny people doing Haraam things. Like very, very Haraam things.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jonnie

    The following review contains little spoilers. Read at your own risk. Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin is a collection of erotic short stories. Seriously amazing short stories. I haven't technically "read" this book since I keep it on my bedside table and take little nibbles of it when I feel like it. I might reread some stories or skip ones altogether. Therefore, I'm going to be rating the stories individually. The Hungarian Adventurer: ★★★ This one is disgusting. Rouging your vagina is one thing. Rap The following review contains little spoilers. Read at your own risk. Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin is a collection of erotic short stories. Seriously amazing short stories. I haven't technically "read" this book since I keep it on my bedside table and take little nibbles of it when I feel like it. I might reread some stories or skip ones altogether. Therefore, I'm going to be rating the stories individually. The Hungarian Adventurer: ★★★ This one is disgusting. Rouging your vagina is one thing. Raping your children is a whole other thing I don't even want to read about. But I read it anyway and, as much as I tried to resist, found it fascinating. Eech. Mathilde: ★★★★★ At midnight he asked if she liked cactus figs. She had never tasted them. He said that he had some in his cabin. But Mathilde wanted to heighten her value by resistance, and she was on her guard when they entered the cabin. This one was a lot more sensual, if not a little terrifying. An intoxicating mix of drugs and group sex, and a peppering of a single violent fetish are ingredients to this perfectly erotic story. One of my favourites so far. The Boarding School: ★★★★ Innocence and sexual perversion ft. Priests. With a side of non-con. The Ring: ★★★★★ Bondage? Yes please. Mallorca: ★★★★★ She swam towards the shore, and he followed. They fell on the sand. The waves still lapped them as they lay there panting, naked. Artists and Models: ★★★★★ A beautiful model and her rendezvous' with two married men. Side stories about a nymphomaniac subby, a hermaphrodite in a perpetual state of sexual dissatisfaction, and a shy artist, all topped off with a delicious dollop of secrecy. Full of cheek, eroticism and sensuality. Another favourite along with Mathilde. Lilith: Marianne: The Veiled Woman: Elena: The Basque and Bijou: Pierre: Manuel: Linda: Marcel:

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    What is, indeed, being “erotic”? Wherein lays its essence? Does it even have an essence, or a formula that one can follow and therefore achieve “eroticism”? Is it confined only to the feminine? Is age of any importance when it comes to it? Is there a difference between “erotic” and “sexual”? Are these two irrevocably intertwined? Is it the mind that is aroused, or the body? Can you achieve “eroticism” purely by matter of perception? What is considered erotic by an individual, and how has that be What is, indeed, being “erotic”? Wherein lays its essence? Does it even have an essence, or a formula that one can follow and therefore achieve “eroticism”? Is it confined only to the feminine? Is age of any importance when it comes to it? Is there a difference between “erotic” and “sexual”? Are these two irrevocably intertwined? Is it the mind that is aroused, or the body? Can you achieve “eroticism” purely by matter of perception? What is considered erotic by an individual, and how has that been shaped by the culture in which he was raised? This book doesn’t answer any of these things. These are just my questions with regards to the subject, to which I think I found some true (or, in any case, plausible to myself) answers. Not to say that this work, as have many others, helped with finding some meaning in this very shadowy field. Anais Nin is one of the writers that leave you baffled from the very first pages. She’s deep, witty in a very informal way while still keeping a very elegant demeanor, can write both porn and romance at the same time (quite honestly, in the same scene), and has a unique way of writing about women. I have found myself in her writing. I have found the woman that I want to be, the woman that I know I can become. The woman who will not, for anything or anyone, deny her sexuality. And it’s rarely that I see myself in writing, nowadays. I have read a lot for my supposedly “young” years. I looked for myself, found myself and lost myself countless times between the pages of vastly different books – but never, never in such a powerful way as when I read Anais Nin’s writing on womanhood. People confuse her writing with “erotica”. That is a very cheap way to put it, in my opinion. Her books are not just about sex – not just about the physical act, anyway. They strive to rekindle the fire that we lost somewhere on the way. To take out the cheapness out of the action, it seems to me. We are animals, after all. We do mate, for reproductional purposes. However, there are pleasures that can be found in loving one another that far exceed the scientific meaning of it. That is, in some ways, our blessing and our curse, as human beings – we can find so much pleasure, at the cost of losing it and experiencing so much pain. Sex is one of our most important drives through life, and when done right it improves one’s quality of existence. Sex is, also, a force of destruction. It can rip one apart, given enough time to gnaw at one’s core. Be it bad or good, it impacts so much on our lives that we even forget how complex and complicated it may be in its beauty, and we focus on the simplest form of it. I refuse that. Anais Nin writes a prose worthy of awe that flows through the pages and allures the reader with its elusion. She writes a very feminine creation and redefines the concept of “woman”. There is power in me, and there is also weakness. There is a highly dominant side to my sexuality, but also an excessively submissive one. Knowing this instinctively in yourself helps when reading such great works as this author’s, because you find yourself explained in someone else’s words. And you also find out how well your love’s story can go when diving into her stories. There’s not much else you can ask for, is there?

  16. 4 out of 5

    Edward

    Delta of Venus is almost like a record of a writer’s development over time: there is a clear progression from the early stories, which are very broadly painted (with something of a Borgesian flavour, strange as that sounds), to the later stories, which are much more detailed and explicit, more in tune with what you would expect from erotica. For all the fuss made in the introduction about writing from a woman’s perspective, and capturing the emotional and sensual aspects of sex, I did not feel t Delta of Venus is almost like a record of a writer’s development over time: there is a clear progression from the early stories, which are very broadly painted (with something of a Borgesian flavour, strange as that sounds), to the later stories, which are much more detailed and explicit, more in tune with what you would expect from erotica. For all the fuss made in the introduction about writing from a woman’s perspective, and capturing the emotional and sensual aspects of sex, I did not feel this intention was executed particularly well. The scenarios generally felt underdeveloped and emotionally flat, and the emotional accounts lacked plausibility, often coming across as forced and clichéd (there are exceptions). Overall, I wasn’t impressed with the writing from a literary standpoint (which I recognise is not the primary objective). I do appreciate the range of themes and perspectives presented in this collection, some of which are genuinely bizarre and shocking. There is a lot of variety, and there’s likely to be something for everyone here both to arouse and to disgust, though overall, Delta of Venus didn’t really do much for me.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mish

    Anais Nin and a few of her writer friends were asked by an anonymous wealthy collector to write a series of Erotic short stories for $1.00 per page for his pleasure. However the collector was specific in the kind of erotica he wanted. Anais was to omit any warmth, emotion or poetry to her writing and only concentrate on the sex. Even though these restrictions were in place I don’t think I’ve ever read erotica so well written, it was polished, bold and wildly daring. She covers a range of sexual f Anais Nin and a few of her writer friends were asked by an anonymous wealthy collector to write a series of Erotic short stories for $1.00 per page for his pleasure. However the collector was specific in the kind of erotica he wanted. Anais was to omit any warmth, emotion or poetry to her writing and only concentrate on the sex. Even though these restrictions were in place I don’t think I’ve ever read erotica so well written, it was polished, bold and wildly daring. She covers a range of sexual fetishes; from the innocent ones who are happily aroused just by being observed, others who like to get most of their sexual experience through experimentation, and then you have the sick psychopaths whose desires are risky and sometimes dangerous. You don’t know what you will experience for from one story to the next, but each and every one of them will get under your skin and tantalise you in the most sensual and sometimes disturbing ways. This took me a while to get through. The stories are so rich in content and description that it took so much out of me, I was exhausted. I could only dabble on a few pages every night. If you have not read Anais Nin and you like erotica, this is a must read. She’s a fascinating woman and so ahead of her time. It has made me want to read more of her work in the future, and to know everything I can about her.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Blanca

    Over a period of years, I tried to find what I could appreciate about Nin's writing. Sure, it was groundbreaking at the time it was written and critically, I guess that's important. It's pretty silly. I imagine college girls trying to copy Dita Von Teese's style read this in a dressing gown, drinking wine on some Urban Outfitters' silk bedspread before going out. That is enough to make me dislike it. Over a period of years, I tried to find what I could appreciate about Nin's writing. Sure, it was groundbreaking at the time it was written and critically, I guess that's important. It's pretty silly. I imagine college girls trying to copy Dita Von Teese's style read this in a dressing gown, drinking wine on some Urban Outfitters' silk bedspread before going out. That is enough to make me dislike it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    I read this book while my heart was breaking in the Spring of 2009; stubborn & resistant to change, this was exactly the medicine I needed to break all the way open. It wasn't until I felt Anaïs' voice echoing inside me that I truly understood & respected what it means to be feminine, to accept, to renew, to hold & nurture, to passionately let go, & in the process become what I always felt a woman should be; warm, dark, fathomless ocean. Having a naturally very dominant, fiery, masculine persona I read this book while my heart was breaking in the Spring of 2009; stubborn & resistant to change, this was exactly the medicine I needed to break all the way open. It wasn't until I felt Anaïs' voice echoing inside me that I truly understood & respected what it means to be feminine, to accept, to renew, to hold & nurture, to passionately let go, & in the process become what I always felt a woman should be; warm, dark, fathomless ocean. Having a naturally very dominant, fiery, masculine personality... real, true femininity was something largely foreign to me, but her words/worlds helped me gently cross that threshold & realize what an immense power there is in being the passive force. Yes it is perverted & some parts are “wrong” & dirty as fuck, but Anaïs in her profound, Piscean way, makes it sacred. She makes you feel it, gives you a taste of the ocean. Anaïs is a drug. I am sure this 'review' will do her no justice.

  20. 4 out of 5

    L.A.Weekly

    Hammer Presents readings by Anais Nin - Feb. 12 By Rena Kosnett Anais Nin would have been 105 this year, and if all the hype is anywhere near accurate, she probably would still be fucking. Every time I overhear or participate in discussions involving Nin, the conversation inevitably turns smutty. Granted, she did submit herself as a cultural galvanizer of female sexual liberation at a time in Europe when there was very little female-authored erotica available; but I've always believed that those d Hammer Presents readings by Anais Nin - Feb. 12 By Rena Kosnett Anais Nin would have been 105 this year, and if all the hype is anywhere near accurate, she probably would still be fucking. Every time I overhear or participate in discussions involving Nin, the conversation inevitably turns smutty. Granted, she did submit herself as a cultural galvanizer of female sexual liberation at a time in Europe when there was very little female-authored erotica available; but I've always believed that those diary entries concerning coital relations between her and her father were at best a metaphor inspired by her studies of Freudian psychology, and at most a pretty lucrative insurance policy for keeping her legacy eternally sensationalized. Rumors gold or pyrite, Nin was a powerful and courageous literary figure who happened to make many younger friends during her aging years in Silver Lake. Read the rest of Kosnett's pick at LA Weekly's website. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Tues., Feb. 12, 7 p.m. (310) 443-7000.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Luís

    Erotic literature is a subtle thing. Like a soap bubble, it must know how to catch your eye, make you hold your breath, make you want to touch it and participate in its development and yet you know it is fragile and ephemeral. Anaïs Nin has this grace of the soap bubble. She arrives, by a sure and clear language, but never vulgar or coarse, to walk you along with the bodies of the women and the men, without making you blush, but by raising puffs of voluptuous desire. To read accompanied if you wis Erotic literature is a subtle thing. Like a soap bubble, it must know how to catch your eye, make you hold your breath, make you want to touch it and participate in its development and yet you know it is fragile and ephemeral. Anaïs Nin has this grace of the soap bubble. She arrives, by a sure and clear language, but never vulgar or coarse, to walk you along with the bodies of the women and the men, without making you blush, but by raising puffs of voluptuous desire. To read accompanied if you wish to read by episodes. To read alone to embrace Anaïs literary class and learn what makes eroticism great and correct. Let us turn our backs on the Puritans. They know what they are losing, and it is well done for them. Anaïs bodies are to be loved without restraint.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    The people I follow on tumblr seem to absolutely adore Anais Nin and they have reblogged or posted some very choice quotes and excerpts from her writing that made me give into curiosity and borrow some of her works from the library. A few other times when I’ve tried erotic fiction I end up laughing because the writing is just so cheesy and phrases are so overused; but I don’t think I once laughed in ridiculousness when I read this book. My cheeks flushed regularly going through the book though, The people I follow on tumblr seem to absolutely adore Anais Nin and they have reblogged or posted some very choice quotes and excerpts from her writing that made me give into curiosity and borrow some of her works from the library. A few other times when I’ve tried erotic fiction I end up laughing because the writing is just so cheesy and phrases are so overused; but I don’t think I once laughed in ridiculousness when I read this book. My cheeks flushed regularly going through the book though, for sure! At one point I bought it into class to read during the break and what should have been a quiet 10 minute reading session for me turned into a whole class discussion about erotica (my teacher included) when a male classmate read the blurb, saw Anais Nin's name and started pelting me with questions. There were definitely some stories in the book where I just thought, ‘ok that’s not really right’ but I remembered that what I thought was ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ wasn’t the point of the book, and I think if you read the book in terms of your own morals, Anais Nin’s book will fall completely flat in trying to convince and help you appreciate that there are all types of love, whether we think it right or wrong. This book is all about exploring human sexuality, and no matter how shocking/erotic some of the descriptions can be, I thought Nin wrote about it in the most beautiful and engaging way.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Konstantin

    1. The Hungarian Adventurer - 5 2. Mathilde - 5 3. The Boarding School - 4.5 4. The Ring - 4 5. Mallorca - 4 6. Artists and Models - 5 7. Lilith - 4 8. Marianne - 5 9. The Veiled Woman - 4.25 10. Elena - 4.25

  24. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    This is a collection of short stories written in the 1940s. It was written for a private collector and was not intended for publication. We now know the “collector” was Roy M Johnson of Healdtown Oil. He was also paying others to write erotica including Henry Miller. Nin later explained why she had participated: “At the time (1941) we were all writing erotica at a dollar a page, I realized that for centuries we had only one model for this literary genre — the writing of man. I was already conscio This is a collection of short stories written in the 1940s. It was written for a private collector and was not intended for publication. We now know the “collector” was Roy M Johnson of Healdtown Oil. He was also paying others to write erotica including Henry Miller. Nin later explained why she had participated: “At the time (1941) we were all writing erotica at a dollar a page, I realized that for centuries we had only one model for this literary genre — the writing of man. I was already conscious of a difference between the masculine and feminine treatment of sexual experience. I know that there was a great disparity between Henry Miller’s explicitness and my ambiguities — between his humorous, Rabelasian view of sex and my poetic descriptions of sexual relationships in the unpublished portions of the Diary. As I wrote in Volume Three of the Diary, I had a feeling that Pandora’s box contained the mysteries of women’s sensuality, so different from man’s and for which man’s language was inadequate.” Nin’s language is literary but the collection has the feel to me of a let’s throw everything in, including the kitchen sink! By which I mean that Nin covers most angles of erotic writing available including some that I find unacceptable (paedophilia for example) presumably with the notion that there is something for everyone to like. The debates around consent and ages of consent are complex and have changed over time and are not for this review. There is certainly a richness to the language and as Nin didn’t intend that they be published, she experiments with the language and with literary devices. As a result, although many work, some are rather clunky. What Nin does is to examine human life through the lens of erotica and from a woman’s point of view and she creates a sense of sexual possibility. The main problem I have with erotica per se (and it’s taken me a while to work this out) is that for me it has to have a context other than an erotic story where the point is the erotica itself. This is however, is an assertion of feminine identity and is lyrical and confessional; not just focusing on the action itself, but also on the internalizations of the characters. Like this review my feelings about this are mixed and I certainly think I need to read much more Nin to put it in context.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Regina Andreassen

    Erotica is one thing that I appreciate and enjoy, but necrophilia, pedophilia, sadism (you don't burn someone's genitals...it is NOT OK), and so forth, is a different thing. I don't think the book is beautifully written either, and it is not creative at all. Clearly, Anais Nin tried to be original and perhaps that is why she felt the need to go that far; well, perhaps that should have been expected if we remember that she had an incestuous relationship with her dad, and was married to two guys a Erotica is one thing that I appreciate and enjoy, but necrophilia, pedophilia, sadism (you don't burn someone's genitals...it is NOT OK), and so forth, is a different thing. I don't think the book is beautifully written either, and it is not creative at all. Clearly, Anais Nin tried to be original and perhaps that is why she felt the need to go that far; well, perhaps that should have been expected if we remember that she had an incestuous relationship with her dad, and was married to two guys at the same time. The characters, as portrayed in the different stories, were ridiculous caricatures, and evidently, she had not idea what she was talking about. Apart from the 'erotica' there was so much nonsense: Opium in Peru and alpacas in Brazil! Just to mention a few 'inaccuracies'. I know it was just fantasy, but that doesn't justify idiocy and ignorance. Nin never felt proud of this work. She wrote it mainly to make some money that she needed desperately, that is why the different stories were not meant to be published but read by a private 'buyer' with a special taste for sex... hte one who has paying her and other authors to do that. Overall, a terrible book...I threw it where it belonged: to the rubbish. Oh, and please, don't try to convince me- or the others who agree with me- that I am wrong..simply because in this particular case I am sure I am not... ;) BTW, we can call Anais Nin a diarist, but she was not really a novelist! She has to be one of the most overrated writers ever! I am not saying this because I am a prude, because I think I am the opposite, quite liberal. Yet, I have read thousands of books since the age of 4 (it is totally true), perhaps that is the reason why these days I don't find many books that I consider good literature. I may be called a snob, and perhaps I am a snob; but I have to be loyal to myself and Anais Nin doesn't do anything for me.

  26. 4 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    Honestly? I liked this book. It is erotica but it is classic and I love everything that have been written so many years ago when I wasn't born yet and people still devour them like they were recently published. It's just that don't read this book straight in just few days. It could be numbing and lose its meaning. You see, the book is composed of short stories about sexual encounters and Anais Nin made sure that each story is different from the others by delving into different sexual subjects, mo Honestly? I liked this book. It is erotica but it is classic and I love everything that have been written so many years ago when I wasn't born yet and people still devour them like they were recently published. It's just that don't read this book straight in just few days. It could be numbing and lose its meaning. You see, the book is composed of short stories about sexual encounters and Anais Nin made sure that each story is different from the others by delving into different sexual subjects, mostly non-standard (note: I did not call these abnormal so as not to attract haters) like bestiality, incest, pedophilia, sadomasochism, exhibitionism or homosexuality. If you are not into these, your reading will be more of awe and surprise that people, even in the 40's when these short erotic short stories were written, were already doing these things. Or maybe they were doing those and we are no longer since we have now have easy access to pornography or sensual images in the internet that can easily satiate our eyes when it comes to absurd things that we thought do not exist. 1994 movie adaptation by Zalman King. In her preface of this book written in 1977, Anais Nin said that she was commissioned by an unnamed publisher, only known as "The Collector" to write erotic short stories. This was in the 40's and she got this job only when Henry Miller got so busy he could not write enough to supply "The Collector." So, Nin sent some samples and the publisher said to forget about poetry and focus on the sexual acts. So, Nin did and thus these stories published as a book posthumously after her death. Surprise, surprise though. Even if Nin thought she made the stories devoid of poetry, her natural beautiful prose still manage to make into them. In particular, Nin gave the distinctive sensual voice for her women characters. What do I mean by this? At some points in our lives, we, men (excuse me if I should speak only for myself but I know I am not a sexual deviant) love watching porn films even those XXX-rated movies without recognizable plot at all. Well, especially when I was a lot younger haha. But women? Like my wife, she loves her X-rated film to have love story incorporated in the plot. Otherwise, she would go to sleep while I still enjoying the movie. That's why this book is highly recommended to all erotic fans who enjoy classic works of the masters. It isn't like the filthy Fifty Shades of Grey (1 star) even if so many people have read and liked it. This one has poetry and that distinctive feminine sensual voice that only Nin could produce. I say classic so woe to you, E. L. James.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tatevik

    Erotica... Isn't the word beautiful? It is. I see this written on the cover of the book and I imagine something beautiful, something you expect of McEwan's and Marquez's writing. And this? This was porn. Saying so I felt being romantic, which I am not, so let's continue. I was looking for a book for my challenge, and this caught my eye. I loved the preface of the book so much (it was adapted from The Diary of Anais Nin) I wanted to immediately order her diaries, but after the first story, I was so Erotica... Isn't the word beautiful? It is. I see this written on the cover of the book and I imagine something beautiful, something you expect of McEwan's and Marquez's writing. And this? This was porn. Saying so I felt being romantic, which I am not, so let's continue. I was looking for a book for my challenge, and this caught my eye. I loved the preface of the book so much (it was adapted from The Diary of Anais Nin) I wanted to immediately order her diaries, but after the first story, I was so disappointed. She can write, and write well, but she kept it hidden, only showed piece by piece in several stories. At first, I was just reading without enjoying, rarely I enjoyed only a paragraph, but not the whole story. The longest stories were unbearable, I just skim-read them. I could feel she had talent which she wasted on some crap. I understand, she needed money, but still... The most painful part is, when she wanted, when she tried a little, she was good, really good! Three stars are just for these small, but good parts. If you ever decide to read this book, I would advise reading her diaries. Of the short adaptations from Volume III, I could tell I would enjoy them better than this.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Astrid Reza

    I had to make this book one of my must-have-list-of-book. So far it’s the best erotica literary writings I ever read. It literally makes you wet yourself. What really intriguing is what Anais explain in her preface (which adapted from her diaries). Doing it for a dollar a page, which apparently create one of her best collections of erotic stories. She needed the money to pay her and her friends living expenses, which she described that “Everyone around me irresponsible, unconscious of the shipwr I had to make this book one of my must-have-list-of-book. So far it’s the best erotica literary writings I ever read. It literally makes you wet yourself. What really intriguing is what Anais explain in her preface (which adapted from her diaries). Doing it for a dollar a page, which apparently create one of her best collections of erotic stories. She needed the money to pay her and her friends living expenses, which she described that “Everyone around me irresponsible, unconscious of the shipwreck”. How necessities create wonders to writers:P Out of the fifteen stories, Anais had her best in writing “The Hungarian Adventure”, “Marianne”, “Elena” and “The Basque and the Bijou”. I like her way in making erotica, which portray women awakening sexuality. Following what D.H. Lawrence did in his writings about sexuality and the complexity in man and woman relationships. Anais made it more gripping with the use of language entirely beautiful in creating her description. She did invented the language of sex that so different from her predecessors (which are dominated by man) I’m entering my second reading in my second summer with Anais, which make one of the best parts of summer holiday reading.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Adina

    3.5* I read Delta of Venus in short batches so it took me a few months to finish. I only read from it when I was in a certain mood, I did not feel the need to read it as a novel. I savored it spoon by spoon. It is sensual and poetic. A much better alternative to some of the popular erotica books out there.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Anaïs Nin's Delta of Venus was published posthumously in 1977, but was largely written in the 1940s. It contains 15 short erotica stories, all of which were written for a private "collector". And it is what it is really, a mixture of stories from various character viewpoints, some of which tie in with each other, detailing a variety of sexual encounters, passions and desires. The one thing about erotica is that you can't really read too much of it, because it just gets boring after a while - prob Anaïs Nin's Delta of Venus was published posthumously in 1977, but was largely written in the 1940s. It contains 15 short erotica stories, all of which were written for a private "collector". And it is what it is really, a mixture of stories from various character viewpoints, some of which tie in with each other, detailing a variety of sexual encounters, passions and desires. The one thing about erotica is that you can't really read too much of it, because it just gets boring after a while - probably part of the reason it took me so long to read this relatively short book. I wasn't expecting plot or character development, but after a while I was longing to pick up something else and get out of Nin's world. Although I enjoyed some of the stories, I had some problems with the content at times. There are elements of paedophilia and incest in this book that didn't sit quite right with me, as well as numerous tales of adultery and humiliation which are really not up my alley. So I would say tread carefully with this one - prepare yourself by knowing about these elements before you hop on in.

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