Illustrated Delta Of Venus

ISBN: 0831721820
ISBN 13: 9780831721824
By: Bob Carlos Clarke

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About this book

In Delta of Venus Anaïs Nin penned a lush, magical world where the characters of her imagination possess the most universal of desires and exceptional of talents. Among these provocative stories, a Hungarian adventurer seduces wealthy women then vanishes with their money; a veiled woman selects strangers from a chic restaurant for private trysts; and a Parisian hatmaker named Mathilde leaves her husband for the opium dens of Peru. Delta of Venus is an extraordinarily rich and exotic collection from the master of erotic writing.

Reader's Thoughts

Ironman Ninetytwo

Some of the stories were somewhat interesting - although the most interesting stories really strained credibility. Perhaps I'm a prude, or perhaps modern times are somewhat different than the 70-odd years ago these stories were written - but surprise endings of pedophelia and incest really put me off and pedophelia, at least, I think should not be a subject for pornography, any more than snuff porn. The introduction says these stories were written for a patron with very specific requirements, and so perhaps there was some subversion, an attempt to provide exactly what was requested but still defy control.On the other hand, erotica written by a women from the pre-war "dark ages", when things were much more secret, and much more patriarchal, should be recognized.


The negative reviews of this book on Goodreads crack me up. It's erotica. It's probably going to have moments that are weird & unpalatable to you. There is a teensy bit of pedophilia here, and a teensy bit of necrophilia. Both are only brief moments in the book, and I feel like they represent Nin's interest in exploring pretty much every type of sex act out there. Get past it, you'll be fine. Most of the book involves interactions between consenting adults. I quickly discovered I was unable to read this book on the bus without blushing, but for the most part I appreciated it for what it was - a woman writing graphically about sex from a woman's point of view, in the 1940's. The first half was more entertaining for me: short chapters that read like scripts out of porn movies - what slim plot existed was only there so the principle characters could have hot hot sexy times. Later in the book she tries to hold onto actual storylines, and I just grew impatient. This book is fabulous at descriptions of intimate sex acts, not so fabulous at describing the more bland day-to-day interactions between ladies and gents. Fortunately every story does end up involving some sort of (often hilarious) coupling. I don't often read steamy vintage erotica, but when I do, I read Anaïs Nin!


These erotic short stories, published after Anais Nin's death, were the first by a woman to deal with frank sexuality in an open and celebratory way.Neither pornographic or exploitative, yet explicit at the same time, Nin brings imagination and insight to a subject usually lacking in both.Inventive, elegant, and sophisticated, this collection makes the everyday seem both unique and magical.


dear reader,so, this week, i was thinking of changing things up, and doing something different instead of my regular "welcome!" thing. but hey, i think i got a good thing going with that. so...welcome! whew! haha, gotcha! yes, friend, welcome, one and all, to another week in "this week in books!" up to "bat" at this week's "game" is a solid "pitch hitter" who can really "pack" "heat": anais nin, and her great collection of fantastic fantasies, entitled "the delta of venus." haha, i guess that's where they go the joke, "women are from venus," because she's a woman, and that's hilarious, so it's a joke! ok, let's go!REVIEW:man/man, man/woman, woman/woman, man/man/woman, woman/man/woman, woman/woman/woman.drugs.pedophilia.pedophiliac rape.going to the


I was near ready to give up on Nin's erotica about halfway through, rife though it was with the sort of kink and taboo I can almost always get behind. Particularly expectation-shattering was the collection's opener, featuring the pedophiliac fantasies of a "Hungarian Adventurer." The story morphs into a sort of cautionary tale wherein the Hungarian is punished, but not before putting on its darker forms of titillation. Many of the stories are tongue-in-cheek, satirical, hot-but-not, and to her credit, Nin really does run the gamut of deviant sexuality: rape, incest, bondage, role playing, voyeurism, formicophilia... One story of the not-hot variety manages to incorporate both necrophilia and bestiality. Which is all well and good, except that Nin's lack of character and plot begins to strain at about the middle point, when you realize she's recycling her themes and heroines.Of the stories meant to be actually poetic and sensual, most involve a central female character who opens up in her sexuality, trips through opium dens, experiments with lesbianism, etc. I'm not terribly convinced that Nin was a great writer of fiction; I think her legacy is her diaries, but she does manage to get some nice purple prose cushioning a trace of the feminist impulse. Still... not terribly compelling,Except for the 40-page The Basque and Bijou, which is by far the best thing in Delta of Venus. It's a subtle masterclass in the origins and perpetuations, the eroticism and ultimate sadness of fetishism. It has a beginning, middle and end, it's sexy as hell, and it has a kicker of a punchline. It's better than the 70-page Elena (a muddle of characters and contrived set-pieces), despite reprising some of the same characters. It validated the collection for me.

Regina Andreassen

Erotica is one thing that I appreciate and enjoy, but necrophilia, pedophilia, sadism (you don't burn someone's is NOT OK), and so forth, is a different thing. I don't think the book is beautifully written either, and it is not creative at all. Clearly, Anais Nin tried to be original and perhaps that is why she felt the need to go that far; well, perhaps that should have been expected if we remember that she had an incestuous relationship with her dad, and was married to two guys at the same time. The characters, as portrayed in the different stories, were ridiculous caricatures, and evidently, she had not idea what she was talking about. Apart from the 'erotica' there was so much nonsense: Opium in Peru and alpacas in Brazil! Just to mention a few 'inaccuracies'. I know it was just fantasy, but that doesn't justify idiocy and ignorance. Nin never felt proud of this work. She wrote it mainly to make some money that she needed desperately, that is why the different stories were not meant to be published but read by a private 'buyer' with a special taste for sex... hte one who has paying her and other authors to do that.Overall, a terrible book...I threw it where it belonged: to the rubbish.Oh, and please, don't try to convince me- or the others who agree with me- that I am wrong..simply because in this particular case I am sure I am not... ;)BTW, we can call Anais Nin a diarist, but she was not really a novelist! She has to be one of the most overrated writers ever! I am not saying this because I am a prude, because I think I am the opposite, quite liberal. Yet, I have read thousands of books since the age of 4 (it is totally true), perhaps that is the reason why these days I don't find many books that I consider good literature. I may be called a snob, and perhaps I am a snob; but I have to be loyal to myself and Anais Nin doesn't do anything for me.

Suki Michelle

Eh. I don't usually read erotica because I can't stand bad writing, and every sample I've ever read that was not suitable for children was badly written. This is a collection of short stories, each with a sexual theme. Anais Nin's writing is superb, but I gave this a 3 because the stories were all basically the same . . . beautiful sensitive damaged woman meets virile handsome devil and they spend a minimum of three days consorting, contorting, and sweating. While the characterization is richly textured, the story lines were shallow and gratuitous. Anais Nin wrote this to entertain a male benefactor, and I'm sure she succeeded in that account. Though it fell flat from a story standpoint, I was impressed with the intelligence and emotional range in the face of such a limited theme.

Astrid Reza

I had to make this book one of my must-have-list-of-book. So far it’s the best erotica literary writings I ever read. It literally makes you wet yourself. What really intriguing is what Anais explain in her preface (which adapted from her diaries). Doing it for a dollar a page, which apparently create one of her best collections of erotic stories. She needed the money to pay her and her friends living expenses, which she described that “Everyone around me irresponsible, unconscious of the shipwreck”. How necessities create wonders to writers:POut of the fifteen stories, Anais had her best in writing “The Hungarian Adventure”, “Marianne”, “Elena” and “The Basque and the Bijou”. I like her way in making erotica, which portray women awakening sexuality. Following what D.H. Lawrence did in his writings about sexuality and the complexity in man and woman relationships. Anais made it more gripping with the use of language entirely beautiful in creating her description. She did invented the language of sex that so different from her predecessors (which are dominated by man)I’m entering my second reading in my second summer with Anais, which make one of the best parts of summer holiday reading.

David Gillespie

Delta of Venus is a book of short stories by Anaïs Nin. Though the stories were largely written in the 1940s while Nin was writing erotica for a private collector, the book was first published posthumously in 1978. The effect of Nin's dreamy prose, the heightened tease of her language, and the titillation of the poetic images of lovers experiencing the joys of the flesh converge to become one of the best collections of erotica ever written. In Nin's hands, the clinical is transformed into beauty. The descriptions are often graphic, but never cross the line into abject pornography. Some readers may have a problem with distinguishing erotica with pornography, as such, this is not a book they need to read. For readers who know how to distinguish between literary erotica and the Penthouse Forum column, this is a must read. In regards to my own writing, I often have a problem with how sexual matters are portrayed in most modern American literature and film. I much prefer the sensibilities of Nin, and how she is able to explore the combinations of love, lust, and the mysteriousness of human sexuality. I aspire to successfully reach that level of writing.


No suelo leer muchos libros de relatos porque me fastidia que unos sean más largos que otros (por norma general me suelen gustar los cortos, los largos me dan pereza). Pero este libro me ha encantado. La mayoría de la "erótica" (no merece ni llamarse así) que yo he leído es "Cincuenta sombras de Grey" y sucedáneos con la misma "calidad" (mierdas machistas, por norma general). Este libro ha sido una bocanada de aire fresco en mi estantería. Aunque son relatos cortos, la psicología de los personajes está trabajada a través de su sexualidad (y/o sensualidad). El estilo de escritura es envolvente, con figuras literarias que enriquecen el texto y la imaginación del lector.El único pero que le encuentro es que algunos relatos se me hicieron excesivamente largos con su estructura de muñeca rusa, de "una historia dentro de una historia".

Julie Rylie

Since a long time I wanted to read Anaïs Nin but seriously... this is not for me. I knew she wrote erotic stuff but I was totally looking for something else. I was reading this in portuguese and sometimes there was such cheesy terrible sex scenes that I was blessing myself for living in Germany and nobody could even sneak a pick on my book on the train and be able to read it (I would feel embarrassed - and believe me - that's hard!).Actually she wrote in the beginning they had this men paying for them to write this stories with no poetry or whatever just sex and that's it. Maybe if I would try another book I would feel more fulfilled.. I don't know. Maybe I'll give it a try someday. For now it was quite enough... After a while I was quite tired of the frigid women, the weird lesbian that also fucked with men, the prostitute with feelings and whatever the heck more.

Dan Keating

It's difficult to figure out where to begin discussing Anais Nin's masterful piece of overblown erotica, "Delta of Venus."Perhaps the best place is to begin by saying that this is not erotica that one would expect to find today. I've admittedly only read a small sampling of "modern" erotica, but what I have read there was extremely tame and inoffensive in comparison. This feels as though it comes from Nin's deep-seated desire to explore sexuality rather than just titillate. There's plenty of titillation too, don't get me wrong - but interspersed you'll find pedophilia, genital mutilation, necrophilia, and a whole ton of rape, almost all of which occurs without negative consequence. Indeed, many of these things are shown in a vacuum - a character loved fucking a fresh corpse and never suffered any repercussion afterward, save that his enjoyment of the experience left him yearning for a similar one from a still-living companion. The moral vacuum aside, there were several times throughout reading "Delta of Venus" that I actually found myself wishing that I'd read it in high school - or even that it was required reading in high school. So many people from my generation learned about sex through shoddy American pornography and even shoddier American pop culture. There's very little room in either of those mediums for an exploration of sensuality, of the ability to slow down while simultaneously becoming more heated, to see that sex isn't just a series of acts which are selected from a menu like one selects items at a fast food restaurant. Probably the greatest thing about "Delta of Venus" is its utter lack of shame, especially in its discovery of itself. That's a lesson more people should learn, as quickly as possible.And hey, a chick has an orgasm while kneeling in front of a priest and confessing, and in order to disguise it she falls forward and pretends to be weeping. That's just inspired."Delta of Venus" is, admittedly, over-the-top. The characters within are almost entirely ribald in their feelings, and many of them discuss in a terribly forthright manner exactly what is on their minds, in situations where it's difficult to believe that they wouldn't show a little more restraint. That, plus the exquisitely ridiculous character of some of the sexual encounters (which never become tacky), give the novel a kind of hyper-realistic quality. These are the real thoughts and feelings and actions of people who cannot possibly be real in the most literal of senses, but absolutely have to be real in the most metaphorical of senses. They represent some of the most extreme drives and desires which most of the time we keep hidden.I'd heavily recommend "Delta of Venus." It's definitely going to offend some people - okay, a lot of people - and I figure there would be some resistance to my feeling that teenagers, who are just beginning to develop their sexual identities, would be better off getting this perspective too than to just learn what sex is from rap music videos. All that aside, it's worth seeing another side to sexuality.


AUTHOR WEBCAM!!- Hi there… my name’s Anais, what’s yours?- Oh, er… hi Anais! My name’s Pau---- Manny. My name is Manny.- Hi Manny. How are you tonight?- Oh I'm fine thank you. Er.... you have a great laptop there.- Why thank you! It’s a Lenovo Ideapad. Do you think it looks cute?- Oh…yes.- You should see the things I can do with it.- Mm hmmm.- What would you like to see me do Manny? Would you like to see me … type? Or…correct a manuscript? Do you want me to call my publisher? I can complain about royalty payments if you want – I complain really well. You know - if you have a publisher we could complain together.- Could you… could you compose some erotica right now?- Of course I could, Manny! Now, would you like that to be in long luxurious leisurely sentences with metaphors clustered like grapes hanging from a vine turning golden pale in the Tuscany sun? Or would you like it to be urgent, short, sharp, like a James Ellroy sex doll, no word over four letters?- Please… just do what you feel you’re into, Anais.- Why thank you Manny, you’re a gentleman. All right. Let's see now...


The people I follow on tumblr seem to absolutely adore Anais Nin and they have reblogged or posted some very choice quotes and excerpts from her writing that made me give into curiosity and borrow some of her works from the library. A few other times when I’ve tried erotic fiction I end up laughing because the writing is just so cheesy and phrases are so overused; but I don’t think I once laughed in ridiculousness when I read this book. My cheeks flushed regularly going through the book though, for sure! At one point I bought it into class to read during the break and what should have been a quiet 10 minute reading session for me turned into a whole class discussion about erotica (my teacher included) when a male classmate read the blurb, saw Anais Nin's name and started pelting me with questions.There were definitely some of the stories where I just thought, ‘ok that’s not really right’ but I remembered quickly that whether I thought the actions carried out in the book were ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ that it wasn’t the point of the book, and I think if you read the book in terms of your own morals, Anais Nin’s book will fall completely flat in trying to convince and help you appreciate that there are all types of love, whether we think it right or wrong. This book is all about exploring human sexuality, and no matter how shocking/erotic some of the descriptions can be, I thought Nin wrote about it in the most beautiful and engaging way.


A broke Anais Nin wrote porn at a dollar a page for an unknown collector who kept telling her to write less literary crap, more of the in and out. Which infuriated her, because she thought he was destroying everything interesting about sex. Which is basically the same debate people are having today about internet porn.And she keeps punishing him for it. In one story a woman has an erotic opium experience, and it's pretty hot I guess, and then suddenly it's like (view spoiler)["And then the guy almost slashed her vagina up because he was a psycho! The end." (hide spoiler)] Which is basically just Nin saying "Ha ha, I killed your boner." In the first story, a dashing guy who's basically The Most Interesting Man in the World from the Dos Equis commercials is bored by normal sex and starts seeking out increasingly perverse experiences. So the first bit, where there's this hot singer lady who goes around to the private booths after her act and blows guys, is - again - pretty hot; but by the end of the story, (view spoiler)[he's trying to shove his cock into his sleeping preteen son's mouth. (hide spoiler)]And that's also a debate that continues today: some anti-porn folks say that the ubiquity of porn encourages people to search out ever-more-extreme forms just to find something new. For what it's worth, anecdotally, this has not been my experience.In any case, I don't know why this guy kept paying Nin. She was pretty much just fucking with him.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

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