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Joan Didion Quotes
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Joan Didion Quote: “Nonfiction is more personal for me. It’s more personal in that it’s more direct, and actually it’s always been more direct, even when I first started doing pieces.”
Joan Didion Quote: “To have that sense of one’s intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent. To lack it is to be locked within oneself, paradoxically incapable of either love or indifference.”
Joan Didion Quote: “California is a place in which a boom mentality and a sense of Chekhovian loss meet in uneasy suspension.”
Joan Didion Quote: “One thing in my defense, not that it matters: I know something Carter never knew, or Helene, or maybe you. I know what “nothing” means, and keep on playing.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Why do you always have to be right. Why do you always have to have the last word. For once in your life just let it go.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I closed the box and put it in a closet. There is no real way to deal with everything we lose.”
Joan Didion Quote: “A young woman with long hair and a short white halter dress walks through the casino at the Riviera in Las Vegas at one in the morning. It was precisely this moment that made Play It As It Lays begin to tell itself to me.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I mean maybe I was holding all the aces, but what was the game?”
Joan Didion Quote: “Vegas is the most extreme and allegorical of American settlements, bizarre and beautiful in its venality and in its devotion to immediate gratification.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I work every day. Sometimes I don’t accomplish anything every day, but if I don’t work every day, I get depressed and get afraid to start again. So I do something every day.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I don’t think anybody feels like they’re a good parent. Or if people think they’re good parents, they ought to think again.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Becoming a parent is actually terrifying. A lot of people have that feeling about their dogs. And if you’re the kind of person who’s going to have that feeling about a dog you’re definitely going to have that about a child.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Water is important to people who do not have it, and the same is true of control.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I know what “nothing” means, and keep on playing.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Aging and its evidence remain lifes most predictable events, yet they also remain matters we prefer to leave unmentioned, unexplored.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Always when I play back my father’s voice,” Maria says, “it is with a professional rasp, it goes as it lays, don’t do it the hard way. My father advised me that life itself was a crap game: it was one of two lessons I learned as a child. The other was that overturning a rock was apt to reveal a rattlesnake. As lessons go those two seem to hold up, but not to apply.”
Joan Didion Quote: “We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I am what I am. To look for reasons is beside the point.”
Joan Didion Quote: “As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.”
Joan Didion Quote: “We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Water under the bridge and dynamite it behind you.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I have always wanted a swimming pool and never had one.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I try to live in the now and keep my eye on the hummingbird. I see no one I used to know, but then I’m not just crazy about a lot of people. I mean maybe I was holding all the aces, but what was the game?”
Joan Didion Quote: “The writer is always tricking the reader into listening to their dream.”
Joan Didion Quote: “We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I’ve always been fascinated with marine geography and how deep things are. I was spellbound by the tsunami, for example, by the actual maps. There is just something about the unseen bottom of the sea that has always fascinated me, how deep is it.”
Joan Didion Quote: “My stake is always, of course, in the unmentioned girl in the plaid silk dress. Remember what it was to be me: that is always the point.”
Joan Didion Quote: “To shift the structure of a sentence alters the meaning of that sentence, as definitely and inflexibly as the position of a camera alters the meaning of the object photographed.”
Joan Didion Quote: “The secret point of money and power in America is neither the things that money can buy nor power for power’s sake but absolute personal freedom, mobility, privacy.”
Joan Didion Quote: “In time of trouble, I had been trained since childhood, read, learn, work it up, go to the literature. Information was control.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Of course great hotels have always been social ideas, flawless mirrors to the particular societies they service.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Some women fight and others do not. Like so many successful guerrillas in the war between the sexes, Georgia O’Keeffe seems to have been equipped early with an immutable sense of who she was and a fairly clear understanding that she would be required to prove.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Marriage is not only time: it is also, parodoxically, the denial of time. For forty years I saw myself through John’s eyes. I did not age.”
Joan Didion Quote: “A good part of any day in Los Angeles is spent driving, alone, through streets devoid of meaning to the driver, which is one reason the place exhilarates some people, and floods others with an amorphous unease.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Nothing I read about grief seemed to exactly express the craziness of it; which was the interesting aspect of it to me – how really tenuous our sanity is.”
Joan Didion Quote: “There’s a lot of landscape I never would have described if I hadn’t been homesick. The impulse was nostalgia.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Some people around San Bernardino say that Arthwell Hayton suffered; others say that he did not suffer at all. Perhaps he did not, for time past is not believed to have any bearing upon time present, or future, out in the golden land where every day the world is born anew.”
Joan Didion Quote: “It did not occur to me to call a doctor, because I knew none, and although it did occur to me to call the desk and ask that the air conditioner be turned off, I never called, because I did not know how much to tip whoever might come – was anyone ever so young?”
Joan Didion Quote: “The death of a parent, he wrote, “despite our preparation, indeed, despite our age, dislodges things deep in us, sets off reactions that surprise us and that may cut free memories and feelings that we had thought gone to ground long ago. We might, in that indeterminate period they call mourning, be in a submarine, silent on the ocean’s bed, aware of the depth charges, now near and now far, buffeting us with recollections.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Some years passed, but I still did not lose that sense of wonder about New York. I began to cherish the loneliness of it, the sense that at any given time no one need know where I was or what I was doing.”
Joan Didion Quote: “And I have learned now to live with it, learned when to expect it, how to outwit it, even how to regard it, when it does come, as more friend than lodger. We have reached a certain understanding, my migraine and I.”
Joan Didion Quote: “This is my attempt to make sense of the period that followed, weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I had ever had about death, about illness, about probability and luck, about good fortune and bad, about marriage and children and memory, about grief, about the ways in which people do and do not deal with the fact that life ends, about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself.”
Joan Didion Quote: “One of the things that happens to people in grief is they secretly think they’re crazy, because they realize they are thinking things that don’t make sense.”
Joan Didion Quote: “We still counted happiness and health and love and luck and beautiful children as “ordinary blessings.”
Joan Didion Quote: “A pool is, for many of us in the West, a symbol not of affluence but of order, of control over the uncontrollable. A pool is water, made available and useful, and is, as such, infinitely soothing to the western eye.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I know why we try to keep the dead alive: we try to keep them alive in order to keep them with us. I also know that if we are to live ourselves there comes a point at which we must relinquish the dead, let them go, keep them dead.”
Joan Didion Quote: “There is a common superstition that “self-respect” is a kind of charm against snakes, something that keeps those who have it locked in some unblighted Eden, out of strange beds, ambivalent conversations, and trouble in general. It does not at all. It has nothing to do with the face of things, but concerns instead a separate peace, a private reconciliation.”
Joan Didion Quote: “It is the season of suicide and divorce and prickly dread, wherever the wind blows.”
Joan Didion Quote: “When I am near the end of a book, I have to sleep in the same room with it.”
Joan Didion Quote: “What’s so hard about that first sentence is that you’re stuck with it. Everything else is going to flow out of that sentence. And by the time you’ve laid down the first two sentences, your options are all gone.”
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