Title Image - Quotes by Author Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: Ask anyone committed to Marxist analysis how many angels on the head of a pin, and you will be asked in return to never mind the angels, tell me who controls the production of pins. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Ask anyone committed to Marxist analysis how many angels on the head of a pin, and you will be asked in return to never mind the angels, tell me who controls the production of pins.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: To believe in 'the greater good' is to operate, necessarily, in a certain ethical suspension. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

To believe in 'the greater good' is to operate, necessarily, in a certain ethical suspension.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: To those of us who remained committed mainly to the exploration of moral distinctions and ambiguities, the feminist analysis may have seemed a particularly narrow and cracked determinism. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

To those of us who remained committed mainly to the exploration of moral distinctions and ambiguities, the feminist analysis may have seemed a particularly narrow and cracked determinism.

--Joan Didion


quote by Joan Didion: In many ways, writing is the act of saying 'I,' of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying, 'Listen to me, see it my way, change your mind.' It's an aggressive, even a hostile act. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

In many ways, writing is the act of saying 'I,' of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying, 'Listen to me, see it my way, change your mind.' It's an aggressive, even a hostile act.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: It was clear, for example, in 1988 that the political process had already become perilously remote from the electorate it was meant to represent. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

It was clear, for example, in 1988 that the political process had already become perilously remote from the electorate it was meant to represent.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I never think people are too careful with me. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I never think people are too careful with me.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: You can throw a novel into focus with one overheard line. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

You can throw a novel into focus with one overheard line.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: We tell ourselves stories in order to live. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

We tell ourselves stories in order to live.

--Joan Didion

quote by Joan Didion: We imagine things -- that we wouldn't be able to survive, but in fact, we do survive. We have no choice, so we do it. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

We imagine things -- that we wouldn't be able to survive, but in fact, we do survive. We have no choice, so we do it.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: We all survive more than we think we can. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

We all survive more than we think we can.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: New York was no mere city. It was instead an infinitely romantic notion, the mysterious nexus of all love and money and power, the shining and perishable dream itself. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

New York was no mere city. It was instead an infinitely romantic notion, the mysterious nexus of all love and money and power, the shining and perishable dream itself.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: When I went to San Francisco in that cold late spring of 1967, I did not even know what I wanted to find out, and so I just stayed around a while and made a few friends. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

When I went to San Francisco in that cold late spring of 1967, I did not even know what I wanted to find out, and so I just stayed around a while and made a few friends.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: A pool is water, made available and useful, and is, as such, infinitely soothing to the western eye. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

A pool is water, made available and useful, and is, as such, infinitely soothing to the western eye.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: The West begins where the average annual rainfall drops below twenty inches. Water is important to people who do not have it, and the same is true of control. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

The West begins where the average annual rainfall drops below twenty inches. Water is important to people who do not have it, and the same is true of control.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: The apparent ease of California life is an illusion, and those who believe the illusion real live here in only the most temporary way. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

The apparent ease of California life is an illusion, and those who believe the illusion real live here in only the most temporary way.

--Joan Didion

quote by Joan Didion: Not much about California, on its own preferred terms, has encouraged its children to see themselves as connected to one another. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Not much about California, on its own preferred terms, has encouraged its children to see themselves as connected to one another.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I never had faith that the answers to human problems lay in anything that could be called political. I thought the answers, if there were answers, lay someplace in man's soul. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I never had faith that the answers to human problems lay in anything that could be called political. I thought the answers, if there were answers, lay someplace in man's soul.

--Joan Didion

quote by Joan Didion: It kills me when people talk about California hedonism. Anybody who talks about California hedonism has never spent a Christmas in Sacramento. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

It kills me when people talk about California hedonism. Anybody who talks about California hedonism has never spent a Christmas in Sacramento.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I have a theatrical temperament. I'm not interested in the middle road -- maybe because everyone's on it. Rationality, reasonableness bewilder me. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I have a theatrical temperament. I'm not interested in the middle road -- maybe because everyone's on it. Rationality, reasonableness bewilder me.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I can remember, when I was in college, irritating deeply somebody I was going out with, because he would ask me what I was thinking and I would say I was thinking nothing. And it was true. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I can remember, when I was in college, irritating deeply somebody I was going out with, because he would ask me what I was thinking and I would say I was thinking nothing. And it was true.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I don't really get things very... intuitively. I mean, I don't immediately understand things. The only way I really get it is by writing it down. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I don't really get things very... intuitively. I mean, I don't immediately understand things. The only way I really get it is by writing it down.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: All of these things we do without children, and suddenly we don't do them anymore, and it comes home to us in a real way, that it's very different to have the responsibility of a child. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

All of these things we do without children, and suddenly we don't do them anymore, and it comes home to us in a real way, that it's very different to have the responsibility of a child.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: There's a general impulse to distract the grieving person -- as if you could. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

There's a general impulse to distract the grieving person -- as if you could.

--Joan Didion


quote by Joan Didion: Nothing I read about grief seemed to exactly express the craziness of it; which was the interesting aspect of it to me -- how really tenuous our sanity is. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Nothing I read about grief seemed to exactly express the craziness of it; which was the interesting aspect of it to me -- how really tenuous our sanity is.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices.

--Joan Didion

quote by Joan Didion: Although a novel takes place in the larger world, there's always some drive in it that is entirely personal -- even if you don't know it while you're doing it. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Although a novel takes place in the larger world, there's always some drive in it that is entirely personal -- even if you don't know it while you're doing it.

--Joan Didion



quote by Joan Didion: I am always writing to myself. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I am always writing to myself.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I'm not very interested in people. I recognize it in myself -- there is a basic indifference toward people. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I'm not very interested in people. I recognize it in myself -- there is a basic indifference toward people.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: Strength is one of those things you're supposed to have. You don't feel that you have it at the time you're going through it. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Strength is one of those things you're supposed to have. You don't feel that you have it at the time you're going through it.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I was raised an Episcopalian. And I did not and I don't believe that anyone is looking out for me personally. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I was raised an Episcopalian. And I did not and I don't believe that anyone is looking out for me personally.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I do have a strong sense of an order in the universe. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I do have a strong sense of an order in the universe.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: One of the things that happens to people in grief is they secretly think they're crazy, because they realize they are thinking things that don't make sense. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

One of the things that happens to people in grief is they secretly think they're crazy, because they realize they are thinking things that don't make sense.

--Joan Didion

quote by Joan Didion: Memories are what you no longer want to remember. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Memories are what you no longer want to remember.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I'm not sure I have the physical strength to undertake a novel. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I'm not sure I have the physical strength to undertake a novel.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I could talk more directly in a nonfiction voice than I could in fiction. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I could talk more directly in a nonfiction voice than I could in fiction.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: My own fantasies of what life would be like at 24 tended to the more spectacular. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

My own fantasies of what life would be like at 24 tended to the more spectacular.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I never had much interest in being a child. As a way of being it seemed flat, failed to engage. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I never had much interest in being a child. As a way of being it seemed flat, failed to engage.

--Joan Didion

quote by Joan Didion: When we start deceiving ourselves into thinking not that we want something... but that it is a moral imperative that we have it, that is when we join the fashionable madmen. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

When we start deceiving ourselves into thinking not that we want something... but that it is a moral imperative that we have it, that is when we join the fashionable madmen.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I've never been keen on open adoption. It doesn't seem to solve the main problem with adoption, which is that somebody feels she was abandoned by someone else. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I've never been keen on open adoption. It doesn't seem to solve the main problem with adoption, which is that somebody feels she was abandoned by someone else.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I recognize a lot of the things I'm going through. Like, I lose my temper a lot and I become unhinged and kind of hysterical. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I recognize a lot of the things I'm going through. Like, I lose my temper a lot and I become unhinged and kind of hysterical.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I lead a very conventional life. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I lead a very conventional life.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I don't lead a writer's life. And I think that can be a source of suspicion and irritation to some people. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I don't lead a writer's life. And I think that can be a source of suspicion and irritation to some people.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: The minute you start putting words on paper you're eliminating possibilities. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

The minute you start putting words on paper you're eliminating possibilities.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I wrote stories from the time I was a little girl, but I didn't want to be a writer. I wanted to be an actress. I didn't realize then that it's the same impulse. It's make-believe. It's performance. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I wrote stories from the time I was a little girl, but I didn't want to be a writer. I wanted to be an actress. I didn't realize then that it's the same impulse. It's make-believe. It's performance.

--Joan Didion

quote by Joan Didion: Late afternoon on the West Coast ends with the sky doing all its brilliant stuff. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Late afternoon on the West Coast ends with the sky doing all its brilliant stuff.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: It took me a couple of years after I got out of Berkeley before I dared to start writing. That academic mind-set -- which was kind of shallow in my case anyway -- had begun to fade. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

It took me a couple of years after I got out of Berkeley before I dared to start writing. That academic mind-set -- which was kind of shallow in my case anyway -- had begun to fade.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I was no longer, if I had ever been, afraid to die: I was now afraid not to die. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I was no longer, if I had ever been, afraid to die: I was now afraid not to die.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I no longer want reminders of what was, what got broken, what got lost, what got wasted. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I no longer want reminders of what was, what got broken, what got lost, what got wasted.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I hadn't thought that I was generally a pack rat, but it turns out I am. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I hadn't thought that I was generally a pack rat, but it turns out I am.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: You had to feel the swell change. You had to go with the change. He told me that. No eye is on the sparrow but he did tell me that. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

You had to feel the swell change. You had to go with the change. He told me that. No eye is on the sparrow but he did tell me that.

--Joan Didion

quote by Joan Didion: Of course, you always think about how it will be read. I always aim for a reading in one sitting. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Of course, you always think about how it will be read. I always aim for a reading in one sitting.

--Joan Didion

quote by Joan Didion: When I'm working on a book, I constantly retype my own sentences. Every day I go back to page one and just retype what I have. It gets me into a rhythm. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

When I'm working on a book, I constantly retype my own sentences. Every day I go back to page one and just retype what I have. It gets me into a rhythm.

--Joan Didion

quote by Joan Didion: Ask anyone committed to Marxist analysis how many angels dance on the head of a pin, and you will be asked in return to never mind the angels, tell me who controls the production of pins. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Ask anyone committed to Marxist analysis how many angels dance on the head of a pin, and you will be asked in return to never mind the angels, tell me who controls the production of pins.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: Writers are always selling somebody out. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Writers are always selling somebody out.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: The fancy that extraterrestrial life is by definition of a higher order than our own is one that soothes all children, and many writers. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

The fancy that extraterrestrial life is by definition of a higher order than our own is one that soothes all children, and many writers.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: Was it only by dreaming or writing that I could find out what I thought? with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Was it only by dreaming or writing that I could find out what I thought?

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: You have to pick the places you don't walk away from. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

You have to pick the places you don't walk away from.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: Was there ever in anyone's life span a point free in time, devoid of memory, a night when choice was any more than the sum of all the choices gone before? with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Was there ever in anyone's life span a point free in time, devoid of memory, a night when choice was any more than the sum of all the choices gone before?

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: Of course great hotels have always been social ideas, flawless mirrors to the particular societies they service. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Of course great hotels have always been social ideas, flawless mirrors to the particular societies they service.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: Self-respect is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has a price. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Self-respect is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has a price.

--Joan Didion

quote by Joan Didion: I'm totally in control of this tiny, tiny world right there at the typewriter. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I'm totally in control of this tiny, tiny world right there at the typewriter.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: Once in a while, when I first started to write pieces, I would try to write to a reader other than myself. I always failed. I would freeze up. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Once in a while, when I first started to write pieces, I would try to write to a reader other than myself. I always failed. I would freeze up.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: Nonfiction is more personal for me. It's more personal in that it's more direct, and actually it's always been more direct, even when I first started doing pieces. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Nonfiction is more personal for me. It's more personal in that it's more direct, and actually it's always been more direct, even when I first started doing pieces.

--Joan Didion




quote by Joan Didion: Novels are like paintings, specifically watercolors. Every stroke you put down you have to go with. Of course you can rewrite, but the original strokes are still there in the texture of the thing. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Novels are like paintings, specifically watercolors. Every stroke you put down you have to go with. Of course you can rewrite, but the original strokes are still there in the texture of the thing.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: The writer is always tricking the reader into listening to their dream. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

The writer is always tricking the reader into listening to their dream.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I don't think anybody feels like they're a good parent. Or if people think they're good parents, they ought to think again. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I don't think anybody feels like they're a good parent. Or if people think they're good parents, they ought to think again.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves -- there lies the great, singular power of self-respect. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves -- there lies the great, singular power of self-respect.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: Americans are uneasy with their possessions, guilty about power, all of which is difficult for Europeans to perceive because they are themselves so truly materialistic, so versed in the uses of power. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Americans are uneasy with their possessions, guilty about power, all of which is difficult for Europeans to perceive because they are themselves so truly materialistic, so versed in the uses of power.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: I have always wanted a swimming pool and never had one. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

I have always wanted a swimming pool and never had one.

--Joan Didion

quote by Joan Didion: In Brentwood we had a big safe-deposit box to put manuscripts in if we left town during fire season. It was such a big box that we never bothered to clean it out. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

In Brentwood we had a big safe-deposit box to put manuscripts in if we left town during fire season. It was such a big box that we never bothered to clean it out.

--Joan Didion
quote by Joan Didion: The clothes chosen for me as a child had a strong element of the Pre-Raphaelite, muted greens and ivories, dusty rose, what seems in retrospect an eccentric amount of black. with background image: photo of author Joan Didion with quote

The clothes chosen for me as a child had a strong element of the Pre-Raphaelite, muted greens and ivories, dusty rose, what seems in retrospect an eccentric amount of black.

--Joan Didion

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