Thursday, September 3, 2009

I prefer empty cages

I often pick up books from Anaïs Nin even though this is the first thing by her I've ever read. Reading A Spy in the House of Love was a little strange. The edition I have is only 117 pages and yet it took me forever to read it. The weird part is that I wasn't bored with this book, I found most of it to be really interesting and relateable; I just set it aside and forgot about it.

The book focuses on Sabina, an actress who is about as restless as they come. She's married and claims to love her husband Alan very much, but she can't seem to help having affairs where ever she goes. She uses her career as an actress to conduct her affairs, by telling her husband she has an performance out of town, when in reality, we hear very little about her actually acting. She seems a much more successful actress in her own life than on the stage.

Sabina has extreme anxiety due to the fact that she's making up stories and pretending to be different people all of the time. She never wants to stay in one place for very long and feels confined by everyday life. The book jumps around a lot from one affair to another, from one Sabina to another.

It's always intriguing to me to read about the minds of cheaters and liars, to see how the morally dubious justify their actions. What's interesting about Sabina is that she seems on one hand to be very concerned about her behavior and on the other hand tells herself there is no other way she could live. She mentions that her father appeared to have many extra-marital relationships but doesn't seem to spend time connecting that to her current behavior.

Anaïs Nin is pretty famous for writing erotica for a dollar a page for a friend of Henry Miller. She's also well known for her Diary, which is roughly nine-thousand volumes. Just kidding, it's only over 150.

Two quotes:

"His airplanes were not different from her relationships, but which she sought other lands, strange faces, forgetfulness, the unfamiliar, the fantasy and the fairytale." - page 71.

"In this world they had criminals too. Gangsters in the world of art, who produced corrosive works born of hatred, who killed and poisoned with their art. You can kill with a painting or a book too." - page 110.

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