Joan Didion

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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Minnie Cheddars
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Joan Didion

Postby Minnie Cheddars » 30 Dec 2021, 02:05


I got to Joan Didion quite late, when Baron presented me with a copy of "The Year of Magical Thinking" just as he was about to go into a huge surgery!! I was a sucker for her whole thing after that, and my obsession with California made her voice felt like a very natural companion to all the things I had seen and wanted to see. Over the past few days I have been reading a lot by people who felt her voice was a real anchor to something important, no matter how old they were or what age they first started reading her. I can identify with that a little- the sense that her books and essays shone with the glow of time past, sort of glowing monuments to life. Two things that I find myself thinking after reading any of her work- one, that reading her feels like spending an evening at the feet of a two-sherries in auntie who has returned from fantastic voyages keen to blow your preconceptions with dissent. Two, she totally masters the art of writing about how our own memories and our memories of others, the basis of our relationships, are so steeped in personal bias and interpretation that it's a wonder anyone can ever agree on anything. I'm sure I think about this more as I get older, and I am sure it has happened to you too- when you hear ludicrous things that old acquaintances say about you, especially as the years progress and the time between events becomes ever stretched. What seems like nonsense is the reality of someone else - and in her work, my emotions about characters get flipped like pancakes by the revelations of others. It's jarring but rewarding, like all good reads.

The documentary on her life by her nephew is well worth checking out, if you haven't already seen it. It's quite beautiful. I also enjoyed a recently broadcast interview with her by Studs Terkel, where her honey voice just smothered everything. I could listen to her all night long. Well anyway, if you like her, you already know where to find all this stuff.

Coincidentally, the O'Keeffe picture behind Joan in the picture above is one that we just had professionally framed for our bedroom as we love it. We put it on the wall the day before she died and I thought about her as we were doing that.

She was special. I'm sorry she is gone, what a life she had.
You come at the Queen, you best not miss.

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Six String
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Re: Joan Didion

Postby Six String » 30 Dec 2021, 04:27

Everything is broken
B. Dylan