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Anaïs Nin 
by Deirdre Bair.
Bloomsbury, 654 pp., £20, April 1995, 0 7475 2135 2
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Conversations with Anaïs Nin 
edited by Wendy Dubow.
Mississippi, 254 pp., $37.95, December 1994, 0 87805 719 6
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... Although it’s counter-intuitive, neither sex nor the pursuit of self were inventions of the 20th century. In his snatch of vérité during the film Reds, Henry Miller hazarded the view that people have always done a lot of fucking. Montaigne settled to his solitary task of reflective self-examination in the mid-16th century. Sex and the self as subjects for investigation share the characteristic of always making their examiners feel like pioneers in uncharted territory ...

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