Slouching Towards Bethlehem Kindle ´ Slouching

Slouching Towards Bethlehem The first nonfiction work by one of the most distinctive prose stylists of our era, Slouching Towards Bethlehem remains, forty years after its first publication, the essential portrait of America— particularly California—in the sixties It focuses on such subjects as John Wayne and Howard Hughes, growing up a girl in California, ruminating on the nature of good and evil in a Death Valley motel room, and, especially, the essence of San Francisco's HaightAshbury, the heart of the counterculture [PDF / Epub] ☉ Book Lover Author Jennifer Kaufman – Slouching Towards Bethlehem remains ★ Secret Delivery / Her 24-Hour Protector PDF / Epub ✪ Author Delores Fossen – forty years after its first publication ➥ [Epub] ➟ Kholodovs Last Mistress By Kate Hewitt ➯ – the essential portrait of America— particularly California—in the sixties It focuses on such subjects as John Wayne and Howard Hughes ❮Télécharger❯ ➺ Wicked Sinner (Regency Sinners 7) ✤ Auteur Carole Mortimer – growing up a girl in California [KINDLE] ❃ If the Stiletto Fits... ❧ Wendy Etherington – ruminating on the nature of good and evil in a Death Valley motel room [Download] ➺ What Phoebe Wants (Harlequin Flipside, By Cindi Myers – and ❮Download❯ ➻ Ruthlessly Royal (Self-Made Millionaires Author Robyn Donald – especially [Epub] ❧ An Amish Family Christmas By Marta Perry – the essence of San Francisco's HaightAshbury [PDF / Epub] ☃ Interrupted Lullaby ✑ Dana R. Lynn – the heart of the counterculture This is Joan's first essay collection, and the focus is largely on California, in the 1960s, with a few exceptions I love her ability to write about people and to connect them to specific places It feels like a time capsule about a place that doesn't exist the same way any, at least not completely Even the Santa Ana winds may have changed. My mother was a freshman in college when I was a freshman in high school Married at seventeen, her 1960s and 70s were spent as a young wife and mother of four It wasn't until she divorced at thirtysix, the same year Ronald Reagan ushered in the folly of trickledown economics and the prisonindustrial complex, that she discovered the sixties She majored in English and one day brought home, as a reading assignment, a copy of Slouching Towards Bethlehem I recall the cover: gunmetal gray with white lettering I recall her clutching the book as though it were a lifeline, a rope to a past she never had I felt the book must be some passageway to adulthood, some essentialness of feminism that both intrigued and bored me I recall loving the titlethe evocation of the Bible that seemed almost sacrilegious to me, a child of a conservative Christian family SlouchingBethlehemnothing but trouble can come from such a book I wonder what my mother must have thought of this collection of essays about people, places, lifestyles so radically different than anything in her experience, yet which were happening simultaneous to her sheltered life While her days were filled with Sesame Street, Tang, laundry, cutting crusts from bread for fussy her elementary schoolkids' lunches, Joan Didion was writing of the counterculture of HaightAshbury, where runaways were drugged and traded as sex toys, used up and strung out by nineteen; of Howard Hughes buying up blocks of Las Vegas like she bought boxes of Cheerios; of Joan Baez, wispy, earnest, and reclusive in the Monterey County Courthouse, trying to save her Institute for the Study of NonViolence from the squares who worried that the hippies would drive down their property values Did my mother dream California dreams? Did she wish for a New York interlude, to be young and in love, with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge, such as Joan Didion had in 1960s? Did she yearn for the warm waves of the Pacific curling on the sands of Hawaii? Such freedom young Didion had, such time to feel angst, to observe others, to write, cleareyed and fiercely about her time and place in a world where people filled their voids with drug, sex, and rocknroll I imagine my mother reading about a gathering of earnest young activists and intellectuals reluctant about gathering up their books and magazines and records, about finding their car keys and ending the day, and by the time they are ready to leave Joan Baez is eating potato salad with her fingers from a bowl in the refrigerator, and everyone stays to share it, just a little while longer where it is warm and wishing she were in their midst, instead of pushing a shopping cart down the aisles of PaknSave, filling it with boxes of Kraft MacnCheese and Hamburger Helper This collection of twenty essays, originally published in a variety of magazines, chronicles Didion's internal and external worlds at a singular time in modern American history Her cool, unsentimental observations have come to exemplify California during the mid 60s and 70s, her unwavering voice carrying the mantle of feminism—here is a writer, a woman, unafraid to admit how very angry and afraid she really is Or unafraid to admit a lifelong crush on the manufactured, wooden John Wayne, a caricature of the American man.Perhaps it is this voice my mother held onto so tightly, searching in Didion's words for the key to selfexpression, independence, and experimentation—all the things my mother missed as she moved straight from childhood to motherhood Perhaps she longed to belong to Didion's California where time past is not believed to have any bearing on time present or future, out in the golden land where every day the world is born anew Oh, don't we all? ”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 waysfamiliar 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 question mark Can you ever really know someone like Joan Didion? She is quiet 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 beJoan Didion in my reading queue over the coming months If you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at: First published in 1968, Slouching Towards Bethlehem considers what happens when the center cannot hold and things fall apart: the threepart collection's twenty essays confront the onset of an age of cynicism in American political and social life The first part contains pieces specific to California, the second personal essays, the third portraits of places significant to both Didion and America at the end of the 1960s Didion's prose sprawls with meticulous detail, and is tinted with the journalist's ironic and aloof sensibility At her best, Didion offers astute critiques of the failings and pretensions of the sundry parts of her nation Favorite essays included Slouching Towards Bethlehem, On Keeping a Notebook, On SelfRespect, and Goodbye to All That.

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