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A Spy in the House of Love : Popular Penguins : Popular Penguins - Anais Nin

A Spy in the House of Love : Popular Penguins

Popular Penguins

By: Anais Nin


Published: 29th August 2011
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Sabrina is a firebird blazing through 1950s New York: she is a woman daring to enjoy the sexual licence that men have always known. Weaving a sensual web of deceit as she plays dangerous games of desire, she deliberately avoids commitment, gripped by the pursuit of pleasure for its own sake.

In A Spy in the House of Love, Anais Nin's vision of feminine sexuality is expressed with a ferocious dramatic force.

About The Author

Partly of Spanish origin, Anais Nin was also of Cuban, French and Danish descent. She was born in Paris and spent her childhood in various parts of Europe. Her father left the family for another woman, which shocked Anais profoundly and was the reason for her mother to take her and her two brothers to live in the United States. Later Anais Nin moved to Paris with her husband, and they lived in France from 1924 to 1939, when Americans left on account of the war. She was analysed in the 1930s by Rene Allendy and subsequently by Otto Rank, with whom she also studied briefly in the summer of 1934. She became acquainted with many well-known writers and artists, and wrote a series of novels and stories.

Her first book - a defence of D. H. Lawrence - was published in the 1930S. Her prose poem, House of Incest (1936), was followed by the collection of three novellas, Winter of Artifice (1939). The quality and originality of her work were evident at an early stage but, as is often the case with avant-garde writers, it took time for her to achieve wide recognition. The international publication of her Journals won her new admirers in many parts of the world, particularly among young people and students. Her novels, Ladders to Fire, Children of the Albatross, The Four-Chambered Heart, A Spy in the House of Love and Seduction of the Minotaur, were first published in the United States between the 19405 and the 1960s, and eventually gathered in Cities of the Interior. She also wrote a collection of short stories, Under a Glass Bell. In the 1940S she began to write erotica for an anonymous client, and these pieces are collected in Delta of Venus and Little Birds (both published posthumously). Penguin also publish A Woman Speaks, a collection of lectures and interviews; Journal of a Wife, the third volume of The Early Diary of Anais Nin, 1923-1927; In Favour of the Sensitive Man and Other Essays; and, most recently, The Early Diary 1927-1931, which is the fourth volume of her diary. Henry and June, a chronicle of her passionate involvement with Henry Miller and his wife June Mansfield, and Incest are the new volumes of the 'un­expurgated diary' of Anais Nin, distinguishable from her previously published volumes by the references to both her husband and her love life. Her books have been translated into twenty-six languages around the world.

During her later years, Anais Nin lectured frequently at universities throughout the USA. In 1973 she received an honorary doctorate from Philadelphia College of the Art and in 1974 was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters. She died in Los Angeles in 1977.

The lie detector was asleep when he heard the telephone ringing.

At first he believed it was the clock ordering him to rise, but then he awakened completely and remembered his profession.

The voice he heard was rusty, as if disguised. He could not distinguish what altered it: alcohol, drugs, anxiety or fear.

It was a woman's voice; but it could have been an adolescent imitating a woman, or a woman imitating an adolescent.

'What is it?' he asked. 'Hello. Hello. Hello.'

'I had to talk to someone; I can't sleep. I had to call someone.'

'You have something to confess . . .'

'To confess?' echoed the voice incredulously; this time, the ascending tonalities unmistakably feminine.

'Don't you know who I am?'

'No, I just dialled blindly. I've done this before. It is good to hear a voice in the middle of the night, that's all.'

'Why a stranger? You could call a friend.'

'A stranger doesn't ask questions.'

'But it's my profession to ask questions.'

'Who are you?'

'A lie detector.'

There was a long silence after his words. The lie detector expected her to hang up. But he heard her cough through the telephone

'Are you there?'


'I thought you would hang up.'

There was laughter through the telephone, a lax, spangled, spiralling laughter, 'But you don't practice your profession over the telephone!'

'It's true. Yet you wouldn't have called me if you were innocent. Guilt is one burden human beings can't bear alone. As soon as a crime is committed, there is a telephone call, or a confession to strangers.'

'There was no crime.'

'There is only one relief: to confess, to be caught, tried, punished. That's the ideal of every criminal. But it's not quite so simple. Only half of the self wants to atone, to be freed of the torments of guilt. The other half of man wants to continue to be free. So only half of the self surrenders, calling out 'catch me', while the other half creates obstacles, difficulties; seeks to escape. It's a flirtation with justice. If justice is nimble, it will follow the clue with the criminal's help. If not, the criminal will take care of his own atonement.'

'Is that worse?'

'I think so. I think we are more severe judges of our own acts than professional judges. We judge our thoughts, our intents, our secret curses, our secret hates, not only our acts.'

She hung up.

The lie detector called up the operator, gave orders to have the call traced. It came from a bar. Half an hour later he was sitting there.

ISBN: 9780143566557
ISBN-10: 0143566555
Series: Popular Penguins
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 128
Published: 29th August 2011
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 18.1 x 11.0  x 0.8
Weight (kg): 0.08
Edition Number: 1