Slouching Towards Bethlehem Book Õ 238 pages

Kindle Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Slouching Towards Bethlehem Book Õ 238 pages ñ ✍ Slouching Towards Bethlehem pdf ✎ Author Joan Didion – Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9780374521721This classic collection of journalism defined the state of America during the upheaval of the sixties revolution The essays feature barricades aAlternate cover edition of ISBN 9780374521721This classic collection of journal ”My only advantage as a reporter is that I am so physically small so temperamentally unobtrusive and so neurotically inarticulate that people tend to forget that my presence runs counter to their best interests And it always does That is one last thing to remember writers are always selling somebody out” One of the cornerstones of friendship is developing some level of trust It might be possible to be friends with Joan Didion but the very thing that makes her a wonderful dinner companion her wonderful insights into the human condition will also be the very thing that will make it difficult to develop an intimacy like one should with a best friend She talks about this difficulty in one of the essays in this collection “‘The easiest kind of relationship for me is with ten thousand people’ she said ‘The hardest is with one’”She was asked to write an essay about John Wayne and she wrote this fantastic scene of having dinner with him I didn’t know what to expect Was she going to fall in bed with him? Was she going to cut Wayne up into little pieces? Love him or hate him the man was always consistently himself The Duke always had to be the Duke There was no down time from being the American icon of western films I enjoyed this very Didion observation that she makes about Wayne ”For a while it was only a nice evening an evening anywhere We had a lot of drinks and I lost the sense that the face across the table was in certain ways familiar than my husband’s”Wayne was renowned for getting everyone at his table drunk and Didion was no exception These essays focus almost exclusively on California Though I wouldn’t call this collection an ode to her home state Let’s just say the Bureau of Tourism for California didn’t choose to use any of her unflinching observations about the state Her family has deep roots in California They were early pioneers who invested in land and did very well She realized this upbringing gave her a different perspective of life ”I never felt poor; I had the feeling that if I needed money I could always get it I could write a syndicated column for teenagers under the name “Debbi Lynn” or I could smuggle gold into India or I could become a 100 call girl and none of it would matter”I will admit I have put off reading Joan Didion because I thought her essays might prove dated From the very first essay I was disabused of that notion These pieces are all from the 1960s and nearly without exception are as relevant today as they were when they were written Couldn’t this comment be as insightful about our current situation as it was in the 1960s? ”Because when we start deceiving ourselves into thinking not that we want something or need something not that it is a pragmatic necessity for us to have it but that it is a moral imperative that we have it then is when we join the fashionable madmen and then is when the thin whine of hysteria is heard in the land and then is when we are in bad trouble And I suspect we are already there”I was expecting elegant writing and certainly I got that but what surprised me was the muscular nature of her prose She hits you in the stomach follows that with an uppercut and she may not even let you get off the canvas before she hits you again She might be small but she is certainly scrappy Her writing is as tight and crisp as a tuned piano wire After I finished the book I read that she had spent hours typing Hemingway’s prose into her typewriter to try and capture some of his style This Hemingway connection runs counter to my perception of Didion but maybe it is just an example of how difficult it is to wrap your arms around her and say this is Joan Didion She would slide away from you and reemerge across the room in dark glasses with a smoldering cigarette trapped between her fingers uplifted in the air the smoke forming a uestion mark Can you ever really know someone like Joan Didion? She is uiet She is unassuming She lets people talk and when they mention something of interest to her can’t you just hear her softly sayingtell me why you believe that?These essays were trending subjects in the 1960s but now they have with infinite grace metamorphosed into historical record For those who follow my reviews I can assure you there will be Joan Didion in my reading ueue over the coming months If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

Joan Didion ß Slouching Towards Bethlehem Epub

Ism defined the state of America during the upheaval of the sixties revolution Days after Manson died I kept thinking about him how he and his Family had summoned the darkness at the heart of the Summer of Love I remembered how surprised we all were that the drugs and the smiles and the flowers had come to this but then I thought no not all of us Joan Didion would have understood; Joan Didion would not have been surprised Slouching Toward Bethlehem a collection of magazine essays and Didion’s second book is about many things but mostly it is about ‘60’s California In its first section “Life Styles in the Golden Land”—slightly longer than half the book every piece but one is set in California a San Bernadino Valley murder profiles of California icons John Wayne Joan Baez Howard Hughes characteristic California political institutions the Communist splinter group the CPUSA the now defunct liberal think tank the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions and the California nexus of the Hippie Explosion San Franciso’s Haight Ashbury district during the Summer of Love Even the short piece not set in California “Marrying Absurd” about the Las Vegas wedding industry is about California and its culture tooBut the California connection does not stop there Didion was a product of the Sacramento Valley the descendant of settlers who—before the Gold Rush—crossed the plains in a covered wagon Joan’s great great great grandmother travelled with the Donner party but unlike the Donners her family avoided the fatal short cut and instead followed the old Oregon Trail Thirty additional pages of Bethlehem some of the most personal of the book describe her California and how it has shaped her character and her perspective She recognizes that even for a Native Daughter like herself the oldest of California traditions are too recent to constitute roots that the culture of the ‘60’s Golden Land is always changing from orange groves to real estate to aerospace and later to high tech and beyond In her title essay Didion lays bare the predispositions of the lost freeway children who inhabit the Haight in the late '60's aimless disconnected from culture lacking the principles that might help them fashion a viable alternative they are people for whom any hypnogogic amusement any superficial enlightment even a dark savior will doYou can learn much about the ‘60’s from this book but its real pleasure lies in its elegant sinewy prose If there is a single clumsy sentence in this book I failed to find it and I am one of those irritating fellows who looks Here is just a taste from “Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream” a description of the San Bernardino Valley This is the California where it is easy to Dial A Devotion but hard to buy a book  This is the country in which a belief in the literal interpretation of Genesis has slipped imperceptibly into a belief in the literal interpretation of Double Indemnity the country of the teased hair and the Capris and the girls for whom all life's promise comes down to a waltz length white wedding dress and the birth of a Kimberly or a Sherry or a Debbi and a Tijuana divorce and return to hairdressers' school  “We were just crazy kids” they say without regret and look to the future  The future always looks good in the golden land because no one remembers the past  Here is where the hot wind blows and the old ways do not seem relevant where the divorce rate is double the national average and where one person in every thirty eight lives in a trailer   Here is the last stop for all those who  come from somewhere else for all those who drifted away from the cold and the past and the old ways  Here is where they are trying to find a new life style trying to find it in the only places they know to look  the movies and the newspapers 

Kindle Ý Slouching Towards Bethlehem ß Joan Didion

Slouching Towards BethlehemThe essays feature barricades and bombings mass murders and kidnapped heiresses I went to San Francisco because I had not been able to work in some months had been paralyzed by the conviction that writing was an irrelevant act that the world as I had understood it no longer existed If I was to work again at all it would be necessary for me to come to terms with disorderSlouching Towards Bethlehem is Joan Didion's seminal essay collection detailing life in Northern California most notably the 1960s counter culture The title essay contrasts Didion's impressions of San Francisco hippie culture with its most idealized utopian representations The Slouching Towards Bethlehem title comes from WB Yeats' poem The Second Coming Yeat's famous line from that poem The center cannot hold works brilliantly in this essay and in my mind at least echoes through the rest of the collection Through Didion's words we feel transported to this time and place but it was already a transitory place when Didion was writing about it and you feel that it is already fading into story “The stories are endless infinitely familiar traded by the faithful like baseball cards fondled until they fray around the edges and blur into the apocryphal” Attending UC Berkeley and living in a student co op Barrington Hall that was called the last bastion of 60s counter culture I felt something like nostalgia at the feel and the texture of these stories and the sometimes idealized but deeply imperfect past Didion describes “Nothing was irrevocable; everything was within reach I could make promises to myself and to other people and there would be all the time in the world to keep them I could stay up all night and make mistakes and none of it would count” 45 stars