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Little did I know those sirens would change my life forever....

This is a hard point for the outsider of romantic sensibility to grasp." Grace -- who owns 59.8 percent of the arable land of Boca Grande "and about the same percentage of the decision-making process in La Republica" -- is drawn to the lonely, witless, wandering American Charlotte because, among other things, Charlotte has no interest in "the reform of the Boca Grande tax structure." In Didion's moral universe, to be interested in tax reform is to be truly crazy.

Though typically considered a journalist, Didion can also be read as an existentialist.

Shealso uses amedieval argument for the existence of God to defend subjectivity: her referents must exist, saysDidion, or theywould not be in her mind.

Didion's lyrical angst strikes me as transparently ersatz.

I mean, I did know it was coming, but I just never thought it would be this soon.

In reviewing a work by Mailer in 1965, Didion wrote of her admiration of his technicalskill and the way in whichhe says "the right things" (1965, 329).

Unlike those heroines of Didion's novels, Lucille Maxwell Miller never floated camellias in silver bowls to stave off encroaching madness or corruption -- no such exquisite desperation for her; she found a "reasonable little dressmaker" instead.

Didion's highly acclaimed style before I move on to her Politics.

Now, unlike the heroines of Didion's fiction, I do not regard memory as an affliction; I remember.

There is a precariously thin line between voyeurism and decadence; and I am bound also to conclude that Didion, the participant-observer -- at Hollywood parties, at the Manson trial, etc., etc.

I see that she sees what I see." Didion, who can manage, maddeningly, to sound smug and remorseful at the same time, tells us that she has no opinions: "In New York [on a book tour] the air was charged and crackling and shorting out with opinion, and we [she and Quintana Roo] pretended we had some.

As we build toward the year 2000, Didion's tone is spreadingthroughout the culture.
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Didion's "style" is a bag of tricks.

gardenias." All very well; but then we are treated to this: Didion's narrator has "no patience with the fact that almost no one in Boca Grande would cross the street to be inoculated.

James, who was 10 at the time, didn’t really help much.

What Didion does in her essays she does also in her novels: in A Book of Common Prayer she parodies a Kunstler-like political being who defends the "Alameda Three" and the "Tacoma Eleven," who has an Andy Warhol silk print of Mao and who makes of having cocaine a civil libertarian issue.

Though Didion's work drives one against U.S.

"Of course," Didion says, pandering to our worst instincts, our careless and selfish desires for political quietude, "we would all like to 'believe' in something, like to assuage our private guilts in public causes, like to lose our tiresome selves." The essay in which that sentence appears was written in 1965: Vietnam.

Didion makes it a point of honor not to struggle for meaning.

Cholera was an opportunity for God to prove His love." If you are a Didion fan, you may be inclined to see this as Scathing Honesty ("Didion writes so tightly it cuts the flesh": Vogue); I see it as myopia.

Didion, however, walks a finer line, or a sharper edge, than most.

Many of Didion's observations about the self-serving "children" of the 1960s are dead accurate; but that doesn't give her the right to fiddle while Watts burns.

"Midas' Grandchildren." Review of , by JoanDidion.

When Didion deigns to mention the ruling class, she puts ruling class in quotes -- which ought to tell us something about the woman who voted for Goldwater.

"On the Edge of Being." Review of , by Joan Didion.

I'm the first one to laugh at a good joke; but I don't see that their funny hats give us the right to laugh at their avowed desire to "open our neighborhoods to those of all colors," and I don't find their concern with youth centers and public health clinics corny -- and even if I did, I wouldn't find integrated neighborhoods and youth centers and public health clinics corny.) Didion, who lives somewhere in Ayn Rand country, makesfun (in Run River) of the character who "stood up for the little fellow and for his Human Right to a Place in the Sun"; she makes no apology for the character whom she quite truthfully describes as a "robber land baron." How come, I'd like to know, her art of deflation is never put to use against those in power?

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