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Joan Didion Quotes
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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: “The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I had only some dim and unformed sense, a sense which struck me now and then, and which I could not explain coherently, that for some years the South and particularly the Gulf Coast had been for America what people were still saying California was, and what California seemed to me not to be: the future, the secret source of malevolent and benevolent energy, the psychic center.”
Joan Didion Quote: “All one’s actual apprehension of what it is like to be a woman, the irreconcilable difference of it – that sense of living one’s deepest life underwater, that dark involvement with blood and birth and death – could now be declared in valid, unnecessary, one never felt it at all.”
Joan Didion Quote: “If you aren’t aware of the reader, you’re working in a vacuum.”
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: “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: “I can’t imagine writing if I didn’t have a reader. Any more than an actor can imagine acting without an audience.”
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: “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: “I myself have always found that if I examine something, it’s less scary. I grew up in the West, and we always had this theory that if you saw – if you kept the snake in you eye line, the snake wasn’t going to bite you. And that’s kind of way I feel about confronting pain. I want to know where it is.”
Joan Didion Quote: “I think I have never known anyone who led quite unexamined a life.”
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: “So now the girl whose life is a crystal teardrop has her own place, a place where the sun shines and the ambiguities can be set aside a little while longer, a place where everyone can be warm and loving and share confidences.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Had he not warned me when I forgot my own notebook that the ability to make a note when something came to mind was the difference between being able to write and not being able to write?”
Joan Didion Quote: “Something I’ve always known about the screen is that if it’s anything in the world, it’s literal. It’s so literal that there’s a whole lot you can’t do because you’re stuck with the literalness of the screen. The stage is not literal.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Later those few minutes in the plaza in Oxnard would come back to Maria and she would replay them, change the scenario. It ended that way badly, or well, depending on what you wanted.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Grammar is a piano I play by ear, since I seem to have been out of school the year the rules were mentioned.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Out under the pepper trees the boys from the Mexican crew sat around sucking caramels, and down the road some of the technical men sat around a place which served a stuffed lobster and a glass of tequila for one dollar American, but it was inside the cavernous empty commissary where the talent sat around, the reasons for the exercise, all sitting around the big table picking at huevos con queso and Carta Blanca beer.”
Joan Didion Quote: “All I know about grammar is its infinite power.”
Joan Didion Quote: “Above all, she is the girl who “feels” things, who has hung on to the freshness and pain of adolescence, the girl ever wounded, ever young.”
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