Book summary: House of Incest


Originally published in 1936, this is Anais Nin's first work of fiction. But unlike her diaries and erotica, "House of Incest" does not detail the author's relationships with her famous lovers, nor does it contain graphic depiction of sex. Rather, it is a surrealistic look within the narrator's subconscious mind as she attempts to escape from a dream in which she is trapped, or in Nin's words, as she attempts to escape from "the woman's season in hell." Nin's usage of the word "incest" in this case is metaphorical, not literal. In other words, in this book the word "incest" describes a selfish love where one can appreciate in another only that which is similar to oneself."

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