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Joan Didion Quotes


An American author best known as a novelist and writer of personalized, journalistic essays.
(1934 - )

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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.
 

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.
 

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.
 

Call me the author.
 

Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power.
 

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.
[Self Knowledge]
 

Most of our platitudes notwithstanding, self-deception remains the most difficult deception. The tricks that worked on others count for nothing in that very well-lit back alley where one keeps assignations with oneself: no winning smiles will do here, no prettily drawn list of good intentions.
 

My father advised me that life itself was a crap game: it was one of the two lessons I learned as a child. The other was that overturning a rock wsa apt to reveal a rattlesnake. As lessons go those two seem to hold up, but not to apply.
[Advice]
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Of course great hotels have always been social ideas, flawless mirrors to the particular societies they service.
 

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

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

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

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

There is one last thing to remember: writers are always selling somebody out.
[Writers And Writing]
 

To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is, a dissatisfaction with self.
 

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

To have that sense of one's intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything.
[Self Confidence]
 

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

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?
 

We are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not.... We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget.
[The Past]
 


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