Tag Archives: Joan Didion

“The ability to think for one’s self depends upon one’s mastery of the language.” — Joan Didion

It’s her birthday today. Someone said that Didion’s (seemingly) simple sentences are like a perfect puzzle. If you remove one line from a paragraph, everything falls apart. Her writing is that well-constructed. She was a notoriously painstaking self-editor. She would … Continue reading

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Substack: Catching up with interesting people saying interesting things

Link roundup on my Substack, to my own stuff, yes, but also to some things I’ve read over the last month I adore: a beautiful piece by my friend Charlie on Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers, an interview with director Susan … Continue reading

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“He who has never felt, momentarily, what madness is has but a mouthful of brains.” — Herman Melville

“Old nineteenth-century New England must have been fearful–in what other country would Thoreau, Melville, Whitman and Dickinson have been so overlooked?” — Robert Lowell, letter to Elizabeth Bishop, December 12, 1958 Herman Melville was born on this day in 1819. … Continue reading

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“I am interested in the goddam sad science of war.” — Ernest Hemingway

Paris Review interview, 2007: Interviewer: Is it possible [Hemingway] showed a generation how to get emotion into a sentence without mentioning emotion? Norman Mailer: Yes, and he did it more than anyone ever had before or after. But he’s a … Continue reading

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For International Women’s Day: Ladies I Love

These women inspire, entertain, challenge, comfort, provoke, or were “there” in my formative years as an inspiration. The list is huge. Below the jump.

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2022 Books Read

Some re-reads this year, but a lot of new-to-me authors as well. New novels written by faves. Been a year of upheaval and transitions. I’ve managed to keep up my regular reading schedule. I just don’t feel right if I’m … Continue reading

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“All creative art must rise out of a specific soil and flicker with the spirit of place.” — D.H. Lawrence

“Whoever reads me will be in the thick of the scrimmage, and if he doesn’t like it – if he wants a safe seat in the audience – let him read somebody else.” — D.H. Lawrence, 1925 D.H. Lawrence was … Continue reading

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April 2022 Viewing Diary

When I first got the Raging Bull gig, I began a re-watch of all the Scorsese-De Niro movies – at least the ones clustered around that period. I grew up on these films. These movies were huge to me as … Continue reading

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R.I.P. Joan Didion

I can’t believe it. Sometimes it’s hard for me to find the words. It’s amazing that the two chronicler-poets of California – very different writers with very different points of view about their home state would die the same week. … Continue reading

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Excerpt from Slouching Towards Bethlehem: ‘John Wayne: A Love Story’, by Joan Didion

For John Wayne’s Birthday A second excerpt from the essay collection: Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (FSG Classics), by Joan Didion This is one of the best things written about John Wayne. It’s not just an essay about who he was … Continue reading

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