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Joan Didion Quotes
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Joan Didion Quote: “I could talk more directly in a nonfiction voice than I could in fiction.”
Joan Didion Quote: “These people who have lost someone look naked because they think themselves invisible.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Perhaps most strikingly of all, it was clear in 1988 that those inside the process had congealed into a permanent political class, the defining characteristic of which was its readiness to abandon those not inside the process.”
Joan Didion Quote: “You had to feel the swell change. You had to go with the change.”
Joan Didion Quote: “When we lose that sense of the possible we lose it fast.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Persons under the shock of genuine affliction are not only upset mentally but are all unbalanced physically. No matter how calm and controlled they seemingly may be, no one can under such circumstances be normal. Their disturbed circulation makes them cold, their distress makes them unstrung, sleepless.”
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: “I cannot count the days on which I found myself driving abruptly blinded by tears.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I went because I was interested in the alchemy of issues.”
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: “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: “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: “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: “My own fantasies of what life would be like at 24 tended to the more spectacular.”
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: “About the cathouse: the notion that an accepted element in the social order is a whorehouse goes hand in hand with the woman on a pedestal.”
Joan Didion Quote: “For forty years I saw myself thru John’s eyes. I did not age.”
Joan Didion Quote: “In fact I had no idea how to be a wife.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Part of it is simply what looks right to the eye, sounds right to the ear. I am at home in the West. The hills of the coastal ranges look “right” to me, the particular flat expanse of the Central Valley comforts my eye. The place names have the ring of real places to me. I can pronounce the names of the rivers, and recognize the common trees and snakes. I am easy here in a way that I am not easy in other places.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Just an ordinary day. “And then – gone.”
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: “It occurred to me almost constantly in the South that had I lived there I would have been an eccentric and full of anger, and I wondered what form the anger would have taken. Would I have taken up causes, or would I have simply knifed somebody?”
Joan Didion Quote: “As it happens I am comfortable with the Michael Laskis of this world, with those who live outside rather than in, those in whom the sense of dread is so acute that they turn to extreme and doomed commitments; I know something about dread myself, and appreciate the elaborate systems with which some people manage to fill the void, appreciate all the opiates of the people, whether they are as accessible as alcohol and heroin and promiscuity or as hard to come by as faith in God or History.”
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: “We all remember what we need to remember.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Mourning, the act of dealing with grief, required attention. Until now there had been every urgent reason to obliterate any attention that might otherwise have been paid, banish the thought, bring fresh adrenaline to bear on the crisis of the day.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I came into adult life equipped with an essentially romantic ethic.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Was anyone ever so young? I am here to tell you that someone was.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I do have a strong sense of an order in the universe.”
Joan Didion Quote: “The devastation along the Gulf had an inevitability about it: the coast was reverting to its natural state.”
Joan Didion Quote: “How could this have happened when everything was normal?”
Joan Didion Quote: “Given that grief remained the most general of afflictions its literature seemed remarkably spare.”
Joan Didion Quote: “At a point during the summer it occurred to me that I had no letters from John, not one. We had only rarely been far or long apart.”
Joan Didion Quote: “The easiest kind of relationship for me is with ten thousand people,” she said. “The hardest is with one.”
Joan Didion Quote: “You have to make sure you have the characters you want. That’s really the most complicated part.”
Joan Didion Quote: “There must be times when everybody writes when they feel they’re evading writing.”
Joan Didion Quote: “To be a white middle-class child in a small southern town must be on certain levels the most golden way for a child to live in the United States.”
Joan Didion Quote: “That Episcopal day school Marin attended from the age of four until she entered Berkeley had as its aim “the development of a realistic but optimistic attitude,” and it was characteristic of Charlotte that whenever the phrase “realistic but optimistic” appeared in a school communique she read it as “realistic and optimistic.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Before I’d written movies, I never could do big set-piece scenes with a lot of different speakers – when you’ve got twelve people around a dinner table talking at cross purposes. I had always been impressed by other people’s ability to do that.”
Joan Didion Quote: “We increasingly justify such heightened involvement with our children as essential to their survival. We keep them on speed dial. We watch them on Skype. We track their movements. We expect every call to be answered, every changed plan reported. We fantasize unprecedented new dangers in their every unsupervised encounter. We mention terrorism, we share anxious admonitions: “It’s different now.” “It’s not the way it was.” “You can’t let them do what we did.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I am easy here in a way that I am not easy in other places.”
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: “She was the right girl at the right time. She had only a small repertory of Child ballads, never trained her pure soprano and annoyed some purists because she was indifferent to the origins of her material and sang everything ‘sad’.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Webley Edwards was on the radio, they remember that, and what he said that morning again and again was “This is an air raid, take cover, this is the real McCoy.” That is not a remarkable thing to say, but it is a remarkable thing to have in one’s memory.”
Joan Didion Quote: “What these men represented was not ‘The West’ but what was for this century a relatively new kind of monied class in America, a group devoid of social responsibilities because their ties to any one place had been so attenuated.”
Joan Didion Quote: “To do without self-respect, on the other hand, is to be an unwilling audience of one to an interminable home movie that documents one’s failings, both real and imagined, with fresh footage spliced in for each screening.”
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: “After a while there were no more tule fogs at dawn and all Charlotte wanted was one night that did not end badly.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Yet I had always at some level apprehended, because I was born fearful, that some events in life would remain beyond my ability to control or manage them. Some events would just happen.”
Joan Didion Quote: “It was in fact the ordinary nature of everything preceding the event that prevented me from truly believing it had happened, absorbing it, incorporating it, getting past it.”
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