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

ANAIS NIN, The Diary of Anais Nin

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.

ANAIS NIN, quoted in The Wordsworth Dictionary of Quotations

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.

ANAIS NIN, Parted Lips: Lesbian Love Quotes Through the Ages

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.

ANAIS NIN, diary entry, March 1937

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.

ANAIS NIN, diary, Jul. 7, 1934

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.

ANAIS NIN, Collages

Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments.

ANAIS NIN, diary, Winter, 1931-32

Nothing too long imagined can be perfect in a wordly way.

ANAIS NIN, Henry and June

To withhold from living is to die ... the more you give of yourself to life the more life nourishes you.

ANAIS NIN, diary, Mar. 6, 1936

Worlds self made are so full of monsters and demons.

ANAIS NIN, House of Incest

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.

ANAIS NIN, diary, Nov. 1933

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.

ANAIS NIN, Children of the Albatross

To lie, of course, is to engender insanity.

ANAIS NIN, Henry and June

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.

ANAIS NIN, attributed, French Writers of the Past

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

ANAIS NIN, Under a Glass Bell

My life is slowed up by thought and the need to understand what I am living.

ANAIS NIN, diary, Feb. 1932

One handles truths like dynamite.

ANAIS NIN, The Diary of Anais Nin

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.

ANAIS NIN, diary, May 30, 1934

Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself.

ANAIS NIN, attributed, Why Men Fall Out of Love

Passion gives me moments of wholeness.

ANAIS NIN, diary, Feb. 1932

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.

ANAIS NIN, attributed, French Writers of the Past

Art is the method of levitation, in order to separate one's self from enslavement by the earth.

ANAIS NIN, The Journals of Anais Nin

I love your silences, they are like mine.

ANAIS NIN, Under a Glass Bell

Life is so fluid that one can only hope to capture the living moment, to capture it alive and fresh ... without destroying that moment.

ANAIS NIN, On Writing

The creative personality never remains fixed on the first world it discovers. It never resigns itself to anything.

ANAIS NIN, The Novel of the Future

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.

ANAIS NIN, diary, Fall 1943

Creation which cannot express itself becomes madness.

ANAIS NIN, diary, Oct. 18, 1936

The role of the writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say. Most of the writing today which is called fiction contains such a poverty of language, such triteness, that it is a shrunken, diminished world we enter, poorer and more formless than the poorest cripple deprived of ears and eyes and tongue. The writer's responsibility is to increase, develop our senses, expand our vision, heighten our awareness and enrich our articulateness.

ANAIS NIN, The Diary of Anais Nin

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

ANAÏS NIN, Fire: From "A Journal of Love" The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1934-1938

For me, the adventures of the mind, each inflection of thought, each movement, nuance, growth, discovery, is a source of exhilaration.

ANAIS NIN, diary, Nov. 1933


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