A meditation: On Joan Didion, the magnificent Caitlin Flanagan, the stifling, spectacularly scenic West Coast - and the reprieve that reading used to be
“Aggressively judgmental crystal healers” Lol!
It sounds like your "stifling, spectacularly scenic" hometown was Vancouver, though it could have been the even further westernmost (and incredibly boring to a youthful adventurer) Victoria. Even so, portraying the West Coast (of North America) thusly betrays a certain amount of provincialism I've regularly observed among residents of America's "great" cities, esp. NYC and Toronto, Joan Didion being one of them.
Keep up the good work, Tara, but open your eyes just a bit more.
a "Boomer" from Seattle.
“Writers are always selling somebody out.”
― Joan Didion
I read Flanagan's piece. It seems that we'd all do well to avoid references to Twitter anyway. I still think that the search for meaning the author(s) refer to has to do with technological change, and the resulting disconnection many of us have from reality. Do you grow your own food and defend your land? For most of us the answer is no, and so we need to find meaning elsewhere, from entertainment or listening to professors it seems.
What beautiful writing about beautiful writers. Thank you.
I was 80 last week and long for the America of the 50's, 60's & 70's. The period had its faults, but we knew that America stood for something or so it seemed to me.
Tara you may find a likeminded ally in Nancy Rommelmann. Not sure if you you are aware of her but she has a great new substack Smoke ‘Em if you get ‘‘em podcast. Enjoyed this essay and also enjoyed The Problem With Everything. As a Gen Xer I could relate to the book as I could to the sentiments of this piece. Cheers.
What a beautiful tribute to Joan Didion!
Joan Didion was a fantastic writer