Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Essay: "Goodbye to All That." Joan Didion.

At age twenty or twenty-one the author arrived in New York City, struck by the wonder of it all and especially by its promises. In eight years she could no longer meet “new faces” at parties. She was finished with New York. Its magic was gone.

Quote: “The end of innocence—disenchantment—is a frequent Didion motif….” Editor’s Note.

Quote: “…some instinct, programmed by all the movies I had ever seen and all the songs I had ever heard sung and all the stories I had ever read about New York, informed me that it would never be quite the same again.”

Quote: “ ‘…but where is the school girl who used to be me?’…. I know now that almost everyone wonders something like that, sooner or later….”

Quote: “Some years passed but I still did not lose that sense of wonder about New York. I began to cherish the loneliness of it, the sense that at any given time no one need know where I was or what I was doing.”

Quote: “…it was a very long time indeed before I stopped believing in new faces and began to understand…that it is distinctly possible to stay too long at the fair.”

Quote: “Everything that was said to me I seemed to have heard before, and I could no longer listen.”

Quote: “I hurt the people I cared about, and insulted those I did not.”

Quote: “All I mean is that I was very young in New York, and that at some point that golden rhythm was broken, and I am not that young any more.”

Comment: And so she flew off to LA,, the other phony capital, and she and her husband gave up their apartment in New York. RayS.

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