Top 100

Top 380 Joan Didion Quotes (2023 Update)
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Joan Didion Quote: “I wanted to get the tears out of the way so I could act sensibly.”
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: “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: “Try to think about having enough left to break a bottle over it.”
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...”
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: “The minute you start putting words on paper you’re eliminating possibilities.”
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: “Ask anyone committed to Marxist analysis how many angels on the head of a pin, and you will be asked in return to never mind the angels, tell me who controls the production of pins.”
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: “I don’t write for catharsis; I have to write to understand.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Mourning has its place but also its limits.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I think nobody owns the land until their dead are in it.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Tuesday, September 11, 2001, dawned temperate and nearly cloudless in the eastern United States.”
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: “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: “I am an anthropologist who lost faith in her own method, who stopped believing that observable activity defined anthropos.”
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: “Someone who lives always with a plane schedule in the drawer lives on a slightly different calendar.”
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: “Medicine, I have reason since to notice more than once, remains an imperfect art.”
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: “Was anyone ever so young? I am here to tell you that someone was.”
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: “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: “You think you have some stable talent which will show no matter what you’re writing, and if it doesn’t seem to be getting across to the audience once, you can’t imagine that moment when it suddenly will.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Once I get over maybe a hundred pages, I won’t go back to page one, but I might go back to page fifty-five, or twenty, even. But then every once in a while I feel the need to go to page one again and start rewriting.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I cannot count the days on which I found myself driving abruptly blinded by tears.”
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: “These people who have lost someone look naked because they think themselves invisible.”
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: “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: “Writers are always selling somebody out.”
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: “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: “Details are our business as writers. Your heart leaps when you see a detail that can go somewhere.”
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: “It’s just a deep pleasure to read something you’ve written yourself – if and when you like it.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Until now I had been able only to grieve, not mourn. Grief was passive. Grief happened.”
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: “Making judgments on films is in many ways so peculiarly vaporous an occupation that the only question is why, beyond the obvious opportunities for a few lectures fees and a little careerism at a dispiritingly self-limiting level, anyone does it in the first place.”
Joan Didion Quote: “When I began writing these pages I believed their subject to be children, the ones we have and the ones we wish we had, the ways in which we depend on our children to depend on us, the ways in which we encourage them to remain children, the ways in which they remain more unknown to us than they do to their more casual acquaintances; the ways in which we remain equally opaque to them.”
Joan Didion Quote: “For forty years I saw myself thru John’s eyes. I did not age.”
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: “I hadn’t thought that I was generally a pack rat, but it turns out I am.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Maria did not particularly believe in rewards, only in punishments, swift and personal.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I have been looking all my life for history and have yet to find it.”
Joan Didion Quote: “If the dead were truly to come back, what would they come back knowing? Could we face them? We who allowed them to die?”
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: “I always had trouble distinguishing between what happened and what merely might have happened, but I remain unconvinced that the distinction, for my purposes, matters.”
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