Anaïs Nin wrote them during the 1940s, when she found herself short of money. Her literary friends – including Henry Miller – were earning a living by writing erotic narratives for an anonymous ‘Collector’ (as the writers called him) for a dollar a page. Nin joined them, and, at the request of the Collector, gradually honed her words down to the pornogaphic acts with no embellishment. The Delta of Venus owes its straightforward, brittle style to this.
Delta of Venus was not published until 1978, after Nin’s death. Despite the Collector’s guidance, it has a distinctly literary style with exquisite atmospherics. However, it is also notable for its use of incest, paedophilia and violence alongside less contested expressions of sexuality.
Delta of Venus is our Mucky Book Club read for January 2011. We’d love to hear what you think of it, either by adding your comments at the bottom of this page, or by joining the discussion at Facebook.com/MuckyBookClub.
There will be a real-life Mucky Book Club meet on 16th January, 7pm at The Ship, Wandsworth. We will live tweeting from this event, #MuckyBooks. Join us!
If you’d like to run an outpost of Mucky Book Club in your area, do get in touch.