Joan Didion

The White Album

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    madelinehas quoted2 months ago
    In her view she lives in a world of people moved by strange, conflicted, poorly comprehended, and, above all, devious motivations which commit them inevitably to conflict and failure…
    madelinehas quoted2 months ago
    Patient’s thematic productions on the Thematic Apperception Test emphasize her fundamentally pessimistic, fatalistic, and depressive view of the world around her. It is as though she feels deeply that all human effort is foredoomed to failure, a conviction which seems to push her further into a dependent, passive withdrawal
    Lisa Rowiehas quoted3 months ago
    The man kept moving. If death was troubling then start over, and reinvent it as “The Other Side.” If faith was troubling then leave the Church, and reinvent it as “The Foundation for Religious Transition.”
    Lisa Rowiehas quoted4 months ago
    I remember taking a 25-mg. Compazine one Easter Sunday and making a large and elaborate lunch for a number of people, many of whom were still around on Monday. I remember walking barefoot all day on the worn hardwood floors of that house and I remember “Do You Wanna Dance” on the record player, “Do You Wanna Dance” and “Visions of Johanna” and a song called “Midnight Confessions.” I remember a babysitter telling me that she saw death in my aura. I remember chatting with her about reasons why this might be so, paying her, opening all the French windows and going to sleep in the living room
    Lisa Rowiehas quoted4 months ago
    Linda operated on what I later recognized as dice theory, and so, during the years I am talking about, did I
    Lisa Rowiehas quoted4 months ago
    The Rorschach record is interpreted as describing a personality in process of deterioration with abundant signs of failing defenses and increasing inability of the ego to mediate the world of reality and to cope with normal stress….
    Lisa Rowiehas quoted4 months ago
    I watched Robert Kennedy’s funeral on a verandah at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu, and also the first reports from My Lai. I reread all of George Orwell on the Royal Hawaiian Beach, and I also read, in the papers that came one day late from the mainland, the story of Betty Lansdown Fouquet, a 26-year-old woman with faded blond hair who put her five-year-old daughter out to die on the center divider of Interstate 5 some miles south of the last Bakersfield exit. The child, whose fingers had to be pried loose from the Cyclone fence when she was rescued twelve hours later by the California Highway Patrol, reported that she had run after the car carrying her mother and stepfather and brother and sister for “a long time.” Certain of these images did not fit into any narrative I knew
    Lisa Rowiehas quoted4 months ago
    I was supposed to hear cues, and no longer did. I was meant to know the plot, but all I knew was what I saw: flash pictures in variable sequence, images with no “meaning” beyond their temporary arrangement, not a movie but a cutting-room experience. In what would probably be the middle of my life I wanted still to believe in the narrative and in the narrative’s intelligibility, but to know that one could change the sense with every cut was to begin to perceive the experience as rather more electrical than ethical
    frankdonovantblueshas quoted4 months ago
    My daughter was making, that day in Chicago, an entirely unconscious but quite basic assumption about people and the work they do. She was assuming that the glory she saw in the work reflected a glory in its maker, that the painting was the painter as the poem is the poet, that every choice one made alone—every word chosen or rejected, every brush stroke laid or not laid down—betrayed one’s character. Style is character.
    Nast Huertahas quotedlast year
    Nor does calling film a “collaborative medium” exactly describe the situation. To read David O. Selznick’s instructions to his directors, writers, actors and department heads in Memo from David O. Selznick is to come very close to the spirit of actually making a picture, a spirit not of collaboration but of armed conflict in which one antagonist has a contract assuring him nuclear capability.
    Nast Huertahas quotedlast year
    It was those city men who stood accused of sentimentalizing her flowers: “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don’t.” And I don’t. Imagine those words spoken, and the sound you hear is don’t tread on me.
    Nast Huertahas quotedlast year
    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.
    Nast Huertahas quotedlast year
    The apparent ease of California life is an illusion, and those who believe the illusion real live here in only the most temporary way.
    Nast Huertahas quotedlast year
    In my memory California summers were characterized by the coughing in the pipes that meant the well was dry, and California winters by all-night watches on rivers about to crest, by sandbagging, by dynamite on the levees and flooding on the first floor. Even now the place is not all that hospitable to extensive settlement.
    Nast Huertahas quotedlast year
    It should be clear that this was a list made by someone who prized control, yearned after momentum, someone determined to play her role as if she had the script, heard her cues, knew the narrative. There is on this list one significant omission, one article I needed and never had: a watch.
    Fer Silvahas quoted3 years ago
    We tell ourselves stories in order to live.
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