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Joan Didion Quotes
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Joan Didion Quote: “I recognize a lot of the things I’m going through. Like, I lose my temper a lot and I become unhinged and kind of hysterical.”
Joan Didion Quote: “The fancy that extraterrestrial life is by definition of a higher order than our own is one that soothes all children, and many writers.”
Joan Didion Quote: “You couldn’t pay for her hats,′ her father, a ship’s captain, had told her suitors by way of discouragement, and perhaps they had all been discouraged but my grandfather, an innocent from the Georgetown Divide who read books.”
Joan Didion Quote: “We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon the disparate images, by the “ideas” with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I wanted to get the tears out of the way so I could act sensibly.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Medicine, I have reason since to notice more than once, remains an imperfect art.”
Joan Didion Quote: “In some ways it was the conventional clandestine affair in a place like San Bernardino, a place where little is bright or graceful, where it is routine to misplace the future and easy to start looking for it in bed.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Most death now happens in hospitals. It’s been medicalized. It happens away from where we deal with it directly. And that’s a huge change. At the beginning of the 20th century most people died at home. Death was much more common.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Mourning has its place but also its limits.”
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: “Discussion of how California has ‘changed,’ then, tends locally to define the more ideal California as that which existed at whatever past point the speaker first saw it: Gilroy as it was in the 1960s and Gilroy as it was fifteen years ago and Gilroy as it was when my father and I ate short ribs at the Milias Hotel are three pictures with virtually no overlap, a hologram that dematerializes as I drive through it.”
Joan Didion Quote: “It is a way of talking that tends to preclude further discussion, which may well be its intention: the public life of liberal Hollywood comprises a kind of dictatorship of good intentions, a social contract in which actual and irreconcilable disagreement is as taboo as failure or bad teeth, a climate devoid of irony.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I will not forget the instinctive wisdom of the friend who, every day for those first few weeks, brought me a quart container of scallion-and-ginger congee from Chinatown. Congee I could eat. Congee was all I could eat.”
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: “Make a place available to the eyes, and in certain ways it is no longer available to the imagination.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I myself love to read those Victorian novels which go on and on, and you don’t read them in one sitting. You might read one over the course of a summer, but that isn’t what I want to write.”
Joan Didion Quote: “It had seemed a funny story as she told it, both that morning by the waterfall and later at dinner, when she repeated it to the photographer and the agency man and the fashion coordinator for the client. Maria tried now to put what happened in Encino into the same spirited perspective, but Ceci Delano’s situation seemed not to apply. In the end it was just a New York story.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Because the reality of death has not yet penetrated awareness, survivors can appear to be quite accepting of the loss.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Somewhere between the Yolo Causeway and Vallejo it occurred to me that during the course of any given week I met too many people who spoke favorably about bombing power stations.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I am an anthropologist who lost faith in her own method, who stopped believing that observable activity defined anthropos.”
Joan Didion Quote: “What you’re normally doing as a writer is trying to find the narrative.”
Joan Didion Quote: “The stories are endless, infinitely familiar, traded by the faithful like baseball cards, fondled until they fray around the edges and blur into the apocryphal.”
Joan Didion Quote: “When I’m working on a book, I constantly retype my own sentences. Every day I go back to page one and just retype what I have. It gets me into a rhythm.”
Joan Didion Quote: “He would say something and she would say something and before either of them knew it they would be playing out a dialogue so familiar that it drained the imagination, blocked the will, allowed them to drop words and whole sentences and still arrive at the cold conclusion.”
Joan Didion Quote: “It’s just a deep pleasure to read something you’ve written yourself – if and when you like 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: “I dealt with it the same way I deal with everything. I just tended my own garden, didn’t pay much attention, behaved – I suppose – deviously. I mean I didn’t actually let too many people know what I was doing.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I do have a strong sense of an order in the universe.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Americans are uneasy with their possessions, guilty about power, all of which is difficult for Europeans to perceive because they are themselves so truly materialistic, so versed in the uses of power.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Carter and Helene still ask questions. I used to ask questions, and I got the answer: nothing. The answer is “nothing.”
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: “I had believed in the logic of popular songs. I had looked for the silver lining. I had walked on through the storm.”
Joan Didion Quote: “In both England and the United States, he observed, the contemporary trend was “to treat mourning as morbid self-indulgence, and to give social admiration to the bereaved who hide their grief so fully that no one would guess anything had happened.”
Joan Didion Quote: “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: “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: “I suppose everything had changed and nothing had.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I have been looking all my life for history and have yet to find it.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Grief comes in waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blind the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Yet I was myself in no way prepared to accept this news as final: there was a level on which I believed that what had happened remained reversible. That was why I needed to be alone. After.”
Joan Didion Quote: “What seemed novel about the use of focus groups in the 1992 campaign was the increasingly narrow part of the population to which either party was interested in listening, and the extent to which this extreme selectivity had transformed the governing of the country, for most of its citizens, into a series of signals meant for someone else.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Burroughs’s voice is hard, derisive, inventive, free, funny, serious, poetic, indelibly American.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I don’t lead a writer’s life. And I think that can be a source of suspicion and irritation to some people.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Until now I had been able only to grieve, not mourn. Grief was passive. Grief happened.”
Joan Didion Quote: “It is a good idea, then, to keep in touch, and I suppose that keeping in touch is what notebooks are all about.”
Joan Didion Quote: “It seemed that the marriage had reached the traditional truce, the point at which so many resign themselves to cutting both their losses and their hopes.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I hadn’t thought that I was generally a pack rat, but it turns out I am.”
Joan Didion Quote: “My own fantasies of what life would be like at 24 tended to the more spectacular.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Well, this whole question of how you work out the narrative is very mysterious. It’s a good deal more arbitrary than most people who don’t do it would ever believe.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I came into adult life equipped with an essentially romantic ethic.”
Joan Didion Quote: “In New Orleans the wilderness is sensed as very near, not the redemptive wilderness of the western imagination but something rank and old and malevolent, the idea of wilderness not as an escape from civilization and its discontents but as a mortal threat to a community precarious and colonial in its deepest aspect. The effect is lively and avaricious and intensely self-absorbed, a tone not uncommon in colonial cities, and the principal reason I find such cities invigorating.”
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