Last Updated May 27, 1997
Anais exemplifies the second type of stodge gone awry. We love Anaïs Nin. Rick and Annie can't get enough of her. We are going to be constructing a hole separate site dedicated to Anaïs, and not just the stodgy aspects of her. It will be accessible on the net, and through this site, Anaïs' stodgy entry. We hope to make the site the definitive site regarding Anaïs, her life, and her work. We will be featuring biographical information, research, bibliographies, reviews and more. Keep a close eye on www.stodgy.com/anais for future developments.
People may wonder why we have Anaïs on the stodgy site at all? How can anything related to this author, her barrier-breaking work and her notoriously unstodgy life have to do with stodgy? We have thought about this long and hard, and to be honest, we just love her and had to fit her insomewhere. But upon further reflection, we see that Anaïs does exhibit a specific type of stodge gone awry.
Anaïs was the child of a conservative hispanic woman. Now of course we use conservative relatively. She was a single mother, eventually divorced. She associated with the Spanish artists in New York City. In her era, she was a relatively progressive woman. Yet still, Anaïs was brought up with some seriously stodgy stereotypes firmly planted in her.
Her whole childhood was spent assuming she would marry, and become a housewife. She constantly writes in her early journals of learning the career of a housewife. She expresses desires and hopes of being an author, but she also admits that housework will always come firs. She was weaned heavily on what she calls "English Letters" 18th and 19th century English Romantic Literature. Anaïs herself often commented that this literature is where she learned about life, and love, and what it is to be a wife.
When she first married Hugh Guiler in 1922, she had phenomenally traditional ideas of her role as a wife, Hugo's role as a husband and breadwinner. Even upon their arrival in Paris in late 1923, Anaïs often bemoaned Hugo's absesnce from her life when duties of work kept him away from her. Her views on love and life and sensuality came much later, after years of not speaking about sexuality, and a relatively celibate marriage.
And it is this upbringing not uncommon for the early 20th century that was the stodge that caused Anaïs to go "awry." A repressed upbringing, one in which sex was a fearful subject. One in which marriage, work, love and life had clear-cut, well-defined and unexciting boundaries. It is this upbrining which Anaïs was rebelling against: the mores, the conventions and the tedium.
Now, we are the first to admit that, in this sense at least, Anaïs had her head on straight and did not go "awry" per se. But in terms of her upbringing, what her mother hoped for her (her other had expressed explicit hopes in 1921-1922 that Anaïs should marry a wealthy cuban), she clearly had gone awry.
Perhaps this should be a lesson for those who hope to brainwash their children, their citizens, their peers those who hope to mold others' developments by way of maintaining ignorance and fear of the unknown. Many of our most revolutionary and counter-culture thinkers have come from tradionalist homes. Ignorance and taboo does not always lead to docility. It can also lead to someone as colorful and multi-faceted as our dear Anaïs.