Can you believe I hadn’t read this before? In fact, I’m not sure I’d read any Didion before. I feel like I must have read a piece somewhere, in some publication, but I can’t prove it.
Certainly, while her novelistic style is known to me, it is very different from the more arch, patrician (patriarchal?) style of my favored essayists, who are more in a direct line of succession to nineteenth century essayists than to the experimental atmosphere of the fifties and sixties.
The title piece is the exemplar if the style she uses. Nearly stream of consciousness in effect and both dreamy and terrifying. Perhaps, though, only terrifying to a middle aged father.
I admire but did not love most of this (except for a piece on Joan Baez funding this weird school; loved that) collection and, if I’m honest, may not go on to read much Joan Didion in the future.