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Joan Didion Quotes
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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: “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.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Only the dying man can tell how much time he has left.”
Joan Didion Quote: “In the midst of life we are in death, Episcopalians say at the graveside.”
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: “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: “Time is the school in which we learn.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I was thinking as small children think, as if my thoughts or wishes had the power to reverse the narrative, change the outcome.”
Joan Didion Quote: “In was raised to believe that what came in on the next roll would always be better than what went out on the last. I no longer believe that, but I am telling you how it was.”
Joan Didion Quote: “We still counted happiness and health and love and luck and beautiful children as “ordinary blessings.”
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: “I had never before understood what “despair” meant, and I am not sure that I understand now, but I understood that year.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Most of our platitudes notwithstanding, self-deception remains the most difficult deception.”
Joan Didion Quote: “It was the kind of Sunday to make one ache for Monday morning.”
Joan Didion Quote: “When we talk about mortality we are talking about our children.”
Joan Didion Quote: “The difference was that all through those eight months I had been trying to substitute an alternate reel. Now I was trying only to reconstruct the collision, the collapse of the dead star.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Marriage is memory, marriage is time.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Let me just be in the ground. Let me just be in the ground and go to sleep.”
Joan Didion Quote: “On the August night in 1933 when General Gerardo Machado, then president of Cuba, flew out of Havana into exile, he took with him five revolvers, seven bags of gold, and five friends, still in their pajamas.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Why have we made a folk hero of a man who is the antithesis of all our official heroes, a haunted millionaire out of the West, trailing a legend of desperation and power and white sneakers? But then we have always done that. Our favorite people and our favorite stories become so not by any inherent virtue, but because they illustrate something deep in the grain, something unadmitted.”
Joan Didion Quote: “One is standing on a highway in the middle of a vast hostile desert looking at an eighty-foot sign which blinks ”stardust” or “caesar’s palace.” Yes, but what does that explain? This geographical implausibility reinforces the sense that what happens there has no connection with “real” life; Nevada cities like Reno and Carson are ranch towns, Western towns, places behind which there is some historical imperative. But Las Vegas seems to exist only in the eye of the beholder.”
Joan Didion Quote: “As it happened, I didn’t grow up to be the kind of woman who is the heroine in a Western, and although the men I have known have had many virtues and have taken me to live in many places I have come to love, they have never been John Wayne, and they have never taken me to the bend in the river where the cottonwoods grow. Deep in that part of my heart where artificial rain forever falls, that is still the line I want to hear.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I always want everything read in one sitting. If they can’t read it in one sitting, you’re going to lose the rhythm of it. You’re going to lose the shape of it.”
Joan Didion Quote: “In the South they are convinced that they have bloodied their place with history. In the West we do not believe that anything we do can bloody the land, or change it, or touch it.”
Joan Didion Quote: “In the absence of a natural disaster we are left again to our own uneasy devices.”
Joan Didion Quote: “The power of grief to derange the mind has in fact been exhaustively noted.”
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: “The time warp: the Civil War was yesterday, but 1960 is spoken of as if it were about three hundred years ago.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Strength is one of those things you’re supposed to have. You don’t feel that you have it at the time you’re going through it.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Make a place available to the eyes, and in certain ways it is no longer available to the imagination.”
Joan Didion Quote: “We imagined we knew everything the other thought, even when we did not necessarily want to know it, but in fact, I have come to see, we knew not the smallest fraction of what there was to know.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I never had much interest in being a child. As a way of being it seemed flat, failed to engage.”
Joan Didion Quote: “It also occurred to me that this was a promise I could not keep. I could not always take care of her. I could not never leave her. She was no longer a child. She was an adult. Things happened in life that mothers could not prevent or fix.”
Joan Didion Quote: “There was a level on which I believed that what had happened remained reversible.”
Joan Didion Quote: “For however dutifully we record what we see around us, the common denominator of all we see is always, transparently, shamelessly, the implacable I.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Sometimes I get lonesome for a storm. A full-blown storm where everything changes. The sky goes through four days in an hour, the trees wail, little animals skitter in the mud and everything gets dark and goes completely wild. But its really God – playing music in his favorite cathedral in heaven – shattering stained glass – playing a gigantic organ – thundering on the keys – perfect harmony – perfect joy.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Try to think about having enough left to break a bottle over it.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I would stay in New York, I told him, just six months, and I could see the Brooklyn Bridge from my window. As it turned out the bridge was the Triborough, and I stayed eight years.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Hand that on parting squeezes your shoulder, salutes the small of your back.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Novels are like paintings, specifically watercolors. Every stroke you put down you have to go with. Of course you can rewrite, but the original strokes are still there in the texture of the thing.”
Joan Didion Quote: “It Was Once Suggested to Me that, as an Antidote to Crying, I Put My Head in a Paper Bag.”
Joan Didion Quote: “She never puts on any weight, you’ll notice that’s often true of selfish women.”
Joan Didion Quote: “It is easy to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see the ends. I can remember now, with a clarity that makes the nerves in the back of my neck constrict, when New York began for me, but I cannot lay my finger upon the moment it ended, can never cut through the ambiguities and second starts and broken resolves to the exact place on the page where the heroine is no longer as optimistic as she once was.”
Joan Didion Quote: “In one guise or another, Indians always are. Again, it is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has its price. People who respect themselves are willing to accept the risk that the Indians will be hostile, that the venture will go bankrupt, that the liaison may not turn out to be one in which every day is a holiday because you’re married to me. They are willing to invest something of themselves; they may not play at all, but when they do play, they know the odds.”
Joan Didion Quote: “You’re a professional. Finish the piece. It occurs to me that we allow ourselves to imagine only such messages as we need to survive.”
Joan Didion Quote: “They mentioned everything but one thing: that she had left the point in a bedroom in Encino.”
Joan Didion Quote: “The minute you start putting words on paper you’re eliminating possibilities.”
Joan Didion Quote: “So the point of my keeping a notebook has never been, nor is it now, to have an accurate factual record of what I have been doing or thinking. That would be a different impulse entirely, an instinct for reality which I sometimes envy but do not possess.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Tuesday, September 11, 2001, dawned temperate and nearly cloudless in the eastern United States.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Nothing was irrevocable; everything was within reach. Just around every corner lay something curious and interesting, something I had never before seen or done or known about.”
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