Literary Dear Johns

Emily Temple collects break-up letters written by famous authors. Below is a particularly cutting selection from Anaïs Nin to C. L. (Lanny) Baldwin, circa 1945:

The day I discovered your deadness—long ago—my illusion about you died and I knew you could never enter my world, which you wanted so much. Because my world is based on passion, and because you know that it is only with passion that one creates, and you know that my world which you now deride because you couldn’t enter it, made Henry [Miller] a great writer, because you know the other young men you are so jealous of enter a whole world by love and are writing books, producing movies, poems, paintings, composing music.

I am in no need of "insisting" upon being loved. I’m immersed and flooded in this. That is why I am happy and full of power and find friendship pale by comparison. But in the middle of this fiery and marvellous give and take, going out with you was like going out with a priest. The contrast in temperature was too great. So I waited for my first chance to break—not wanting to leave you alone.