More verbal onanism in the fourth and last installment of A Journal of Love, which demonstrates that even an unexpurgated...

READ REVIEW

"NEARER THE MOON: The Unexpurgated Diary of Ana‹s Nin, 1937-1939"

More verbal onanism in the fourth and last installment of A Journal of Love, which demonstrates that even an unexpurgated diary can be boring (especially sans the high prurience quotient of the scandalous couplings in the earlier volumes Incest and Henry and June). This time the players are Henry (Miller, still) and Gonzalo Mor‚, a passionate Peruvian, in a d‚doublement on which Nin positively mainlines, intoxicated by the audacity and the risk of keeping them both (and keeping them apart from each other . . . and the others). Keep them she does, on a seemingly endless shoestring provided by cipher-husband Hugh Guiler, and also by their various consorts (mostly Art in Miller's case, Communism and Helba [platonic by now] in Gonzalo's). ""I nurture their egotism,"" Nin interprets grandly, though she doesn't shrink from cataloguing her outlay of francs-per-month-per-man for food and rent. Her vague dream-picaresque purveys little actual narrative; Nin writes to evade the demons of solitude, in swirls of preoccupation with herself in all of her sacrificial, sensual, and poetic wonder (""I know I have as great an ear for nuances as Proust . . .""). Jealousy--of her lovers' lovers, past and prospective--is the ""disease"" she admits to, however, as she communes with her diary. Breathlessly: ""I feel a malaise until I write certain things down. . . . Deliverance!"" Therapy, then, conducted by a virtuoso solipsist in an airless crucible of amour-propre.

Pub Date: Nov. 11, 1996

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Harcourt Brace

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1996