All that I know is contained in this book written without witness, an edifice without dimension, a city hanging in the sky.
This is the first book I’ve read of Anais Nin, a friend recommended Henry and June but I don’t have that yet but then I thought it’s not so bad to start with Nin’s first published book instead. Originally published in 1936, House of Incest was a challenging read for me since the prose was written in a dream-like fashion, surreal that it feels like she’s serenading me with strange melancholy, hypnotizing me to drift to a nightmare she’s experiencing. I got lost a couple of times, it’s quite a short book but it really demands a reader’s full attention.
I am ill with the obstinacy of images, reflections in cracked mirrors. I am a woman with Siamese cat eyes smiling always behind my gravest words, mocking my own intensity. I smile because I listen to the OTHER and believe the OTHER. I am a marionette pulled by unskilled fingers, pulled apart, inharmoniously dislocated; one arm dead and the other rhapsodizing in mid air.
This book was controversial for somewhere in the book Nin had veiledly written her incestuous relationship with her father but the Incest referred here was in metaphor and not of the literal sense. It’s the obsession to oneself, a selfish love, a nightmare where she’s battling with her duality that she needs to emerge from.
If only we could all escape from this house of incest, where we only love ourselves in the other, if only I could save you all from yourselves
Nin embraced her vulnerability and bared herself in this book, It was a confession like no other. She was well known for her erotic writing, they’re explicit yet bathed with eloquence that makes me thirst for more.
“A voice that had traversed the centuries, so heavy it broke what it touched, so heavy I feared it would ring in me with eternal resonance, a voice rusty with the sound of curses and the hoarse cries that issue from the delta in the last paroxysm of orgasm.”