65 Fascinating Anais Nin Quotes

American short-story writer and novelist, Anais Nin was born in 1903 in Neuilly, France and died in January 1977 in Los Angeles, California. While living in Paris, Anais assisted her close pal, Henry Miller to write and publish his first novel, Tropic of Cancer.

Non spent her early years in Spain and Cuba followed by 16 years in Paris. Then at the age of 37, she moved to the United States and remained there until her death.

Her writing was influenced by the surrealist movement that was popular in the art world during that time as well as her study of psychoanalysis.

Anais Nin was one of the first female writers that wrote openly about erotica and she has become a bit of a feminist icon in this regard, as her writing went against the grain of acceptable during the time she was writing.

Her writing definitely has a sensual quality and that is one of the reasons it remains popular decades after her death. Anais was a progressive thinker who stuck by her own ideals, thus expressing herself through literature.

Anais Nin Quotes

In honor of this literary icon, below you’ll find our most insightful 65 Anais Nin Quotes about love, life, and travel.

1. “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 naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.” — Anais Nin

2. “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” — Anais Nin

3. “The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.” — Anais Nin

4. “Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” — Anais Nin

5. “We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.” — Anais Nin

6. “Passion gives me moments of wholeness.” — Anais Nin

7. “The same chemicals were used in the cooking as were used on the composition of her own being: only those which caused the most violent reaction, contradiction, and teasing, the refusal to answer questions but the love of putting them, and all the strong spices of human relationship which bore a relation to black pepper, paprika, soybean sauce, ketchup and red peppers.” — Anaïs Nin

8. “Good things happen to those who hustle.” — Anais Nin

9. “Dreams are necessary to life.” — Anais Nin

10. “The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself.” — Anais Nin

11. “I hate men who are afraid of women’s strength.” — Anais Nin

12. “Pain is something to master, not to wallow in.” — Anais Nin

13. “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” — Anais Nin

14. “I write emotional algebra.” — Anais Nin

15. “Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself.” — Anais Nin

16. “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.” — Anais Nin

17. “People living deeply have no fear of death.” — Anais Nin

18. “The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.” — Anais Nin

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19. “The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.” — Anais Nin

20. “I want to make my own discoveries… penetrate the evil which attracts me ” — Anais Nin

21. “What I cannot love, I overlook. Is that real friendship?” — Anais Nin

22. “There are books which we read early in life, which sink into our consciousness and seem to disappear without leaving a trace. And then one day we find, in some summing-up of our life and put attitudes towards experience, that their influence has been enormous.” — Anaïs Nin

23. “The obstacle became his alibi for weakness.” — Anais Nin

24. “Living never wore one out so much as the effort not to live.” — Anais Nin

25. “Do not seek the because – in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.” — Anais Nin

26. “You cannot save people. You can only love them.” — Anais Nin

27. “Only the united beat of sex and the heart can create ecstasy.” — Anais Nin

28. “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

29. “I am aware of being in a beautiful prison, from which I can only escape by writing.” — Anais Nin

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30. “My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.” — Anais Nin

31. “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” — Anais Nin

32. “In chaos, there is fertility.” — Anais Nin

33. “It’s all right for a woman to be, above all, human. I am a woman first of all.” — Anais Nin

34. “How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?” — Anais Nin

35. “Creation which cannot express itself becomes madness.” — Anais Nin

36. “Had I not created my whole world. I would certainly have died in other people’s.” — Anais Nin

37. “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

38. “I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.” — Anais Nin

39. “Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it.” — Anais Nin

40. “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

41. “Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.” — Anais Nin

42. “I want my eroticism mixed with love. And deep love one does not often experience.” — Anais Nin

43. “I only regret that everybody wants to deprive me of the journal, which is the only steadfast friend I have, the only one which makes my life bearable, because my happiness with human beings is so precarious, my confiding moods rare, and the least sign of non-interest is enough to silence me. In the journal I am at ease.” — Anais Nin

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44. “I am lonely, yet not everybody will do. I don’t know why, some people fill the gaps and others emphasize my loneliness. In reality those who satisfy me are those who simply allow me to live with my idea of them.” — Anais Nin

45. “When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others.” — Anais Nin

46. “I will not be just a tourist in the world of images, just watching images passing by which I cannot live in, make love to, possess as permanent sources of joy and ecstasy.” — Anais Nin

47. “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.” — Anais Nin

48. “I stopped loving my father a long time ago. What remained was the slavery to a pattern.” — Anais Nin

49. “You write while you are alive. You do not preserve them in alcohol until the moment you are ready to write about them.” — Anais Nin

50. “I love her for what she has dared to be, for her hardness, her cruelty, her egoism, her perverseness, her demoniac destructiveness. She would crush me to ashes without hesitation. She is a personality created to the limit. I worship her courage to hurt, and I am willing to be sacrificed to it. She will add the sum of me to her. She will be June plus all that I contain.” — Anais Nin

51. “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.” — Anais Nin

52. “I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” — Anais Nin

53. “Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.” — Anais Nin

54. “There are many ways to be free. One of them is to transcend reality by imagination, as I try to do.” — Anais Nin

55. “We are going to the moon that is not very far. Man has so much farther to go within himself.” — Anais Nin

56. “Art is the method of levitation, in order to separate one’s self from enslavement by the earth.” — Anais Nin

57. “We do not escape into philosophy, psychology, and art ― we go there to restore our shattered selves into whole ones.” — Anais Nin

58. “Whenever you do something that is not aligned with the yearning or your soul — you create suffering.” — Anais Nin

59. “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

60. “Someone told me the delightful story of the crusader who put a chastity belt on his wife and gave the key to his best friend for safekeeping, in case of his death. He had ridden only a few miles away when his friend, riding hard, caught up with him, saying ‘You gave me the wrong key!” — Anais Nin

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61. “I love the abstract, delicate, profound, vague, voluptuously wordless sensation of living ecstatically.” — Anais Nin

62. “I’m in love with New York. It matches my mood. I’m not overwhelmed. It is the suitable scene for my ever ever heightened life. I love the proportions, the amplitude, the brilliance, the polish, the solidity. I look up at Radio City insolently and love it. It’s all great, and Babylonian. Broadway at night. Cellophane. The newness. The vitality. True, it is only physical. But it’s inspiring. Just bring your own contents, and you create a sparkle of the highest power. I’m not moved, not speechless. I stand straight, tough and I meet the impact. I feel the glow and the dancing in everything. The radio music in the taxis, scientific magic, which can all be used lyrically. That’s my last word. Give New York to a poet. He can use it. It can be poetized. Or maybe that’s mania of mine, to poetize. I live lightly, smoothly, actively, ears or eyes wide open, alert, oiled! I feel the glow and the dancing in every thing and the tempo is like that of my blood. I’m at once beyond, over and in New York, tasting it fully.” — Anais Nin

63. “I am only responsible for my own heart, you offered yours up for the smashing my darling. Only a fool would give out such a vital organ.” — Anais Nin

64. “When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow.” — Anais Nin

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

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Anais Nin Video – Her Wisdom

This short video has some amazing archive photos of Anais as well as more quotes from her writing. If you have read this far, we suspect you will really enjoy this video too.


In tribute to Anais and the upcoming New Year, here’s a quote for you; “I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me!

May this simple, yet wise saying enter into the new year with a fresh new perspective on the unknown future that awaits.

Image Credit: Elsa Dorfman (1937–2020)   DescriptionAmerican photographerDate of birth/death26 April 1937 30 May 2020 Location of birth/deathCambridgeCambridgeAuthority control: Q5367400VIAF: 66091182ISNI: 0000 0001 1492 8860ULAN: 500048248LCCN: no98087693GND: 122980530WorldCatcreator QS:P170,Q5367400, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons 

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