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Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays by Joan…
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Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (1968)

by Joan Didion

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2,741453,129 (4.14)90
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    Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (WSB7)
    WSB7: See "things falling apart" in very different (?) cultures.
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» See also 90 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
Joan Didion is as verbose as William Faulkner and as scabrous as Dorothy Parker but her voice is always her own.

You can buy the book here. ( )
  graffiti.living | Nov 20, 2018 |
Didion really has a way with words; however, the title essay was the only one that I personally liked. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Sep 8, 2018 |
Joy's Review: Joan Didion is a genius. These essays on California culture and counter-culture form the 1960's create vivid scenes and memorable people. But it's her unique perspective, insights, and deep grasp of these cultures that capture and keeps your attention. This is only the third book of hers that I've read, but there will be more. ( )
  konastories | Apr 24, 2018 |
I read this for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, and let me tell you it was a challenge. I like Didion's style of writing, but this was too obscure for me. I simply missed her cultural references; I honestly believe I was too young and not well-versed enough to "get" what she was saying. It was an odd reading experience, that's for sure. ( )
1 vote gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
What an amazing group of essays, written about universal and personal topics. Joan didion writes in such a wonderfully precise way, I just want to pick it back up and read some again. They evoke certain emotions and time periods without being too flowery or too "of a certain era." Favorites were "some dreamers of the golden dream," "John Wayne: a love song," the title essay, "on going home," and "goodbye to all that." Prior to this I'd only read her two most recent about the deaths of her husband and child, but will definitely plan to go back and read more of her early work.

Side note: why did they choose such an angry looking picture of her to put on the front? ( )
  Abbey_Harlow | Oct 5, 2017 |
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Epigraph
W. B. Yeats's poem beginning:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;


...is set down in full, as well as a quote from Miss Peggy Lee:

I learned courage from Buddah, Jesus, Lincoln, Einstein, and Cary Grant.
Dedication
For Quintana
First words
This is a story about love and death in the golden land, and begins with the country.
Quotations
To have that sense of one's intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent. To lack it is to be locked within oneself, paradoxically incapable of either love or indifference.
It is often said that New York City is a city for only the very rich and the very poor. It is less often said that New York is also, at least for those of us who came there from somewhere else, a city for only the very young.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374521727, Paperback)

Universally acclaimed when it was first published in 1968, Slouching Towards Bethlehem has become a modern classic. More than any other book of its time, this collection captures the mood of 1960s America, especially the center of its counterculture, California. These essays, keynoted by an extraordinary report on San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, all reflect that, in one way or another, things are falling apart, "the center cannot hold." An incisive look at contemporary American life, Slouching Towards Bethlehem has been admired for several decades as a stylistic masterpiece.

Contents:

I. LIFE STYLES IN THE GOLDEN LAND
Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream
John Wayne: A Love Song
Where the Kissing Never Stops
Comrade Laski, C.P.U.S.A. (M.-L.)
7000 Romaine, Los Angeles 38
California Dreaming
Marrying Absurd
Slouching Towards Bethlehem

II. PERSONALS
On Keeping a Notebook
On Self-Respect
I Can't Get That Monster out of My Mind
On Morality
On Going Home

III. SEVEN PLACES OF THE MIND
Notes from a Native Daughter
Letter from Paradise, 21° 19' N., 157° 52' W
Rock of Ages
The Seacoast of Despair
Guaymas, Sonora
Los Angeles Notebook
Goodbye to All That

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:52 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"This work 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 Haight-Ashbury, the heart of the counterculture." --From back of book.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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