Anaïs Nin: A Myth of Her Own traces Nin’s literary craft by following the intimacy of self-exploration and poetic expression attained in the details of the quotidian, transfigured into fiction. By digging into the mythic tropes that permeate both her literary diaries and fiction, this book demonstrates that Nin constructed a mythic method of her own, revealing the extensive possibilities of an opulent feminine psyche.

Clara Oropeza demonstrates that the literary diary, for Nin, is a genre that with its traces of trickster archetype, among others, reveals a mercurial, yet particular understanding of an embodied and at times mystical experience of a writer. The cogent analysis of Nin’s fiction alongside the posthumously published unexpurgated diaries, within the backdrop of emerging psychological theories, further illuminates Nin’s contributions as an experimental and important modernist writer whose daring and poetic voice has not been fully appreciated. By extending research on diary writing and anchoring Nin’s literary style within modernist traditions, this book contributes to the redefinition of what literary modernism was comprised, who participated and how it was defined.

Anaïs Nin: A Myth of Her Own is unique in its interdisciplinary expansion of literature, literary theory, mythological studies and depth psychology. By considering the ecocritical aspects of Nin’s writing, this book forges a new paradigm for not only Nin’s work, but for critical discussions of self-life writing as a valid epistemological and aesthetic form. This impressive work will be of great interest to academics and students of Jungian and post-Jungian studies, literary studies, cultural studies, mythological studies and women’s studies.

chapter 1|16 pages

Anaïs Nin

Self-life writing, myth and literature

chapter 2|19 pages

Anaïs Nin’s expurgated diaries Volume One (1931–1934) and Two (1934–1939)

Modernism and mythopoesis

chapter 4|28 pages

(Un)veiling incest

The early diary of Anaïs Nin, Volume Four and Incest: From a Journal of Love

chapter 6|13 pages

Myth, monsters and art

The labyrinths of Nin’s Seduction of the Minotaur

chapter |9 pages


Tending self and nature: eco-minded writing and communitas