Top 142 Anaïs Nin Quotes

Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.


Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.


Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.


Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.


I have such a fear of finding another like myself, and such a desire to find one! I am so utterly lonely, but I also have such a fear that my isolation be broken through, and I no longer be the head and ruler of my universe.


I reserve the right to love many different people at once, and to change my prince often.


I am lonely, yet not everybody will do. I don’t know why, some people fill the gaps and others emphasize my loneliness.


Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.


Luxury is not a necessity to me, but beautiful and good things are.


I don’t really want to become normal, average, standard. I want merely to gain in strength, in the courage to live out my life more fully, enjoy more, experience more. I want to develop even more original and more unconventional traits


All those who try to unveil the mysteries always have tragic lives. At the end they are always punished.


I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.


We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.


Do not seek the because – in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.


Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together.


There are two ways to reach me: by way of kisses or by way of the imagination. But there is a hierarchy: the kisses alone don’t work.


Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.


We are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them.


I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.


She lacks confidence, she craves admiration insatiably. She lives on the reflections of herself in the eyes of others. She does not dare to be herself.


life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity, & stumble from defeat to defeat.


The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison, was the miracle.


Living never wore one so much as the effort not to live.


When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons.


The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself.


There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.


We are more severe judges of our own acts… We judge our thoughts, our intents, our secret curses, our secret hates, not only our acts.


What can I do with my happiness? How can I keep it, conceal it, bury it where I may never lose it? I want to kneel as it falls over me like rain, gather it up with lace and silk, and press it over myself again.


He was now in that state of fire that she loved. She wanted to be burnt.


There is a perfection in everything that cannot be owned.


But my faith seems naive, at least today. Maybe tomorrow I can believe again.


I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.


The man who was once starved may revenge himself upon the world not by stealing just once, or by stealing only what he needs, but by taking from the world an endless toll in payment of something irreplaceable, which is the lost faith.


We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.


The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.


If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.


This diary is my kief, hashish and opium pipe. This is my drug and my vice.


I am aware of being in a beautiful prison, from which I can only escape by writing.


I can elect something I love and absorb myself in it.


A big enough artist, I say, can eat anything, must eat everything and then alchemize it. Only the feeble writer is afraid of expansion.


The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.


When you’re in my arms, I know you’re mine. But your feet are so swift, so swift, they carry you as lightly as wings, I never know where, too fast, too fast away from me.


Love the great narcotic was the revealer in the alchemist’s bottle rendering visible the most untraceable substances. Love the great narcotic was the agent provocateur exposing all the secret selves to daylight.


You are that to me, an oasis. You drug me and at the same time you give me strength.


In this instant of danger they realized they were each other’s reason for living, and into this instant they threw their whole being.


So many broken promises, each day an aborted wish, a lost object, a misplaced unread book, cluttering the room like an attic with discarded possessions.


And it is that which draws me to you, too, for you are the tropics, you have the sun in you, and the softness and the clarity…


His entire body was pleading for reassurance, and if her whole love was not enough what else could she give him to cure his doubt?


The potion drunk by lovers is prepared by no one but themselves. The potion is the sum of one’s whole existence.


Every lover could be brought to trial as the murderer of his own love. When something hurts you, saddens you, I rush to avoid it, to alter it, to feel as you do, but you turn away with a gesture of impatience and say: “I don’t understand


The fascination exerted by one human being over another is not what he emits of his personality at the present instant of encounter but a summation of his entire being which gives off this powerful drug capturing the fancy and attachment.


Her presence had awakened in him a man suddenly whipped by his earlier ideals, whose lost manhood wanted to assert itself in action.


No moment of charm without long roots in the past, no moment of charm is born on bare soil, a careless accident of beauty, but is the sum of great sorrows, growths, and efforts.


But love, the great narcotic, was the hothouse in which all the selves burst into their fullest bloom…


Men from the mountains always dream of the sea, and above all things I love to travel.


I loved your breaking down that door, repeated Djuna. Through Rango she had breathed some other realm she had never attained before. She had touched through his act some climate of violence she had never known before.


Out of worship and out of love he would let no one light the stove for her either, as if he would be the warmth and the fire to dry and warm her feet.


Although I was so big, and so rough in many ways, loved hunting, fighting, horseback riding, I loved the piano above everything else…The mountain man’s obsession is to get a glimpse of the sea.


He failed to see that it contained at once all of Djuna’s wishes which had been denied, and these wishes had flown from all directions to meet at this intersection and to plead once more for understanding.


What can I say Rango? What can I do to prove to you that I belong to you?


He had appointed her not only guardian angel, but a member of his ideals.


There were silences in my head. I could abandon myself completely to the pleasure of multiple relationships, to the beauty of the day, to the joys of the day. It was as if a cancer in me had ceased gnawing me. The cancer of introspection.


And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.


The important task of literature is to free man, not to censor him, and that is why Puritanism was the most destructive and evil force which ever oppressed people and their literature: it created hypocrisy, perversion, fears, sterility.


Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.


Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together.


Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.


I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.


How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?


She lacks the core of sureness, she craves admiration insatiably. She lives on reflections of herself in others’ eyes. She does not dare to be herself.


I believe that men are generally still a little afraid of the dark though the witches are all hung, and Christianity and candles have been introduced.


Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it.


I see enormous loves growing immense and finally crushing me.


I wept because from now on I will weep less. I wept because I have lost my pain and I am not yet accustomed to its absence.


One does not learn to suffer less but to dodge pain.


He was jealous of her future, and she of his past.


I am made only for passion; it is the temperature of love that I cannot endure. I am afraid, and I think it is death- everything but passion seems like death to me. Only in fever do I feel life.


They clutch and cling and howl when I leave them, but how badly they love.


Last night I wept. I wept because the process by which I have become woman was painful. I wept because I was no longer a child with a child’s blind faith. I wept because my eyes were opened to reality.


He had never seen her body so abandoned, so unconscious of all but the desire to be taken and satisfied. She bloomed under his caresses, no longer the girl but the woman already being born.


For too many centuries women have been being muses to artists. I wanted to be the muse, I wanted to be the wife of the artist, but I was really trying to avoid the final issue — that I had to do the job myself.


Introspection does not need to be a still life. It can be an active alchemy.


We do not escape into philosophy, psychology, and art–we go there to restore our shattered selves into whole ones.


The impetus to grow and live intensely is so powerful in me I cannot resist it. I will work, I will love my husband, but I will fulfill myself.


I am not always just living, just following all my fantasies; I come up for air, for understanding.


Then at certain moments I remember one of his words and I suddenly feel the sensual woman flaring up, as if violently caressed. I say the word to myself, with joy. It is at such a moment that my true body lives.


I want to do things so wild with you that I don’t know how to say them.


…then he stretched himself alongside her to smoke a cigarette with all the ceremony of an opium dreamer.


Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts. We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for a center. So we lost our center and have to find it again.


At night too, she puzzled the mystery of her desperate need of kindness. As other girls prayed for handsomeness in a lover, or for wealth, or for power, or for poetry, she had prayed fervently: let him be kind.


Am I creating my own isolation? It seems to me that most of my acts are acts of integrity. So much takes place within me each day that by comparison I find a paucity, a stinginess, a silence in people which drives me to excess.


And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.


I take pleasure in my transformations. I look quiet and consistent, but few know how many women there are in me.


How can I accept a limited definable self when I feel, in me, all possibilities?… I never feel the four walls around the substance of the self, the core. I feel only space. Illimitable space.


And in his eyes he had the look of the cat who inspires a desire to caress but loves no one, who never feels he must respond to the impulses he arouses.


This great handsomeness I took into myself later when he desired me, but I took it as one breathes air, or swallows a snowflake, or yields to the sun.


She abandoned herself to his whim, thinking it was to be an orgy of eyes and hands only.


We did not touch each other. We were both leaning over the abyss.


[Y]ou have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing.


Confront all the angry thoughts, feelings, the jealousies and condemnations, to find their cause, seek the root of such feelings and then operate on that. Need of security and reassurance can cause criminal acts.


We are going to the moon that is not very far. Man has so much farther to go within himself.


I hate rarely, though when I hate, I hate murderously.


Everything with me is either worship and passion or pity and understanding. I hate rarely, though when I hate, I hate murderously. But I am more preoccupied with loving.


Men can be in love with literary figures, with poetic and mythological figures, but let them meet with Artemis, with Venus, with any of the goddesses of love, and then they start hurling moral judgments.


They courted the face on the screen, the face of translucence, the face of wax on which men found it possible to imprint the image of their fantasy.


Stories are the only enchantment possible, for when we begin to see our suffering as a story, we are saved.


My attraction to drugs is based on an immense desire to annihilate awareness.


I love you, June, and you know how acutely, how desperately. You know that no one can say or do anything to shake my love. I have taken you into myself, whole. You need have no fear of being unmasked, only loved.


I was stirred only like a leaf in the wind, that is all. . .


Human beings can reach such desperate solitude that they may cross a boundary beyond which words cannot serve, and at such moments there is nothing left for them but to bark.


I often see how you sob over what you destroy, how you want to stop and just worship; and you do stop, and then a moment later you are at it again with a knife, like a surgeon.


I put artistic values above all others. Because writing, for me, is an expanded world, a limitless world, containing all.


Our age has need of violence,” he writes. And he is violence.


For our anxiety is the one thing we cannot place on the shoulders of others, it suffocates them.


I never lose sight of the whole. An impeccable dress is made to be lived in, to be torn, wet, stained, crumpled.


Wherever there is light, look for the shadow. The shadow is me.


Wherever this is light, look for the shadow. The shadow is me.


The monster I kill every day is the monster of realism. The monster who attacks me every day is destruction. Out of the duel comes the transformation. I turn destruction into creation over and over again.


Motherhood is a vocation like any other. It should be freely chosen, not imposed upon woman.


Even when they did not look at each other or speak to each other, he could feel a powerful current between them.


He never treated her as a wife. He wooed her over and over again, with presents, flowers, new pleasures.


I gathered poets around me and we all wrote beautiful erotica. As we were condemned to focus only on sensuality, we had violent explosions of poetry. Writing erotica became a road to sainthood rather than to debauchery.


Every gesture was one of disorder and violence, as if a lioness had come into the room.


We are dancing on our irony as upon the top of glowing sparks.


The relief of opening one’s hand and letting go was immense. But soon after, I tightened again. A desire for revenge, a strange revenge.


Djuna had wanted a life of desire and freedom, not luxury but beauty, not security but fulfillment, not perfection but a perfect moment like this one…


There is a fissure in my vision and madness will always rush through.


I walked into my own book, seeking peace.It was night, and I made a careless movement inside the dream; I turned too brusquely the corner and I bruised myself against my madness.


There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.


Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive.


There is a resemblance between men and women, not a contrast. When a man begins to recognize his feeling, the two unite. When men accept the sensitive side of themselves, they come alive.


We speak of the masculine and the feminine, but they are the wrong labels. It is really more a matter of poetry versus intellectualization.


I feel a little like the moon who took possession of you for a moment and then returned your soul to you. You should not love me. One ought not to love the moon. If you come too near me, I will hurt you.


When you trust, you are tender and delicate, but when you doubt, you are dangerous and destructive


Warmth, perfume, rugs, soft lights, books. They do not appease me. I am aware of time passing, of all the world contains that I have not seen, of all the interesting people I have not met.


Innocence was gone from all our acts. Our habitual state of rebellion became a serious political crime.


How well I know with what burning intensity you live. You have experienced many lives already, including several you have shared with me- full rich lives from birth to death, and you just have to have these rest periods in between.


Later he´ll be drunk in extremis and will only be able to speak the esperanto of alcoholics, which is a language full of stutterings from the geological layers of our animal ancestors


Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terror, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.


What is the greatest need of human beings? What is it they seek from me always? Intimacy. I listen with all my being, I am completely interested. I seek momentarily a full communion of eyes, feelings, thoughts.


At five o’clock Paris always has a current of eroticism in the air.


Do you have regrets that we were so overwhelmed? Do you ever wish to live those hours over again and differently, with more confidence.



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