"I am a Woman First of All." 22 of the Greatest Quotes from Anaïs Nin


Anaïs Nin, although largely ignored in her early career, is considered to be one of the most influential female authors of the 20-th century.

Nin’s diaries and novels have since become a source of inspiration for women who challenge conventional gender roles. She says in her original diary, “It’s all right for a woman to be, above all, human. I am a woman first of all.” The following quotes are taken from many of her works and are some of the truest expressions of life, love, and what it is to be a woman.
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
“It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments.”
“Nothing too long imagined can be perfect in a wordly way.”
“To withhold from living is to die … the more you give of yourself to life the more life nourishes you.”
“Worlds self-made are so full of monsters and demons.”
“When others asked the truth of me, I was convinced it was not the truth they wanted, but an illusion they could bear to live with.”
“In the world of the dreamer there was solitude: all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living. They took place in solitude.”
“To lie, of course, is to engender insanity.”
“Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes one feel as you might when a drowning man holds unto you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.”
“All those who try to unveil the mysteries always have tragic lives. At the end, they are always punished.”
“My life is slowed up by thought and the need to understand what I am living.”
“One handles truths like dynamite.”
“Oh, God, I know no joy as great as a moment of rushing into a new love, no ecstasy like that of a new love. I swim in the sky; I float; my body is full of flowers, flowers with fingers giving me acute, acute caresses, sparks, jewels, quivers of joy, dizziness, such dizziness. Music inside of one, drunkenness. Only closing the eyes and remembering, and the hunger, the hunger for more, more, the great hunger, the voracious hunger, and thirst.”
“Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself.”
“Passion gives me moments of wholeness.”
“The final lesson a writer learns is that everything can nourish the writer. The dictionary, a new word, a voyage, an encounter, a talk on the street, a book, a phrase learned.”
“Art is the method of levitation, in order to separate one’s self from enslavement by the earth.”

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