Monday, October 17, 2005

Read This

Finished, quite quickly, Joan Didion's new book The Year of Magical Thinking. It's a stellar, stellar book. Her writing is everything I want mine to be -- intimate, rhythmic -- so much so that it makes me feel like I'm talking with a mouthful of marbles as I'm trying to type this sentence.

I've got a couple of her books on my shelves; saw this latest one at the library and took it out as I had already finished the first 33 pages, excerpted in the NYT, which also reviewed it.

I'm normally not a Didion fan -- I've disliked her tone. It never seemed to be the right time for me to really read Slouching Towards Bethlehem, and a friend who actually lived through the counterculture said she thought Didion had it all wrong and was nasty about it to boot.

In TYOMT, Didion mentions -- and the review mentions -- a mother not wanting to let a messenger into her house because the messenger is there to tell her that her son is dead; if she doesn't let him in, he can't remember the news.

I can remember, the night my maternal grandmother was killed in a fire, walking in the door, seeing my mother's face, and rightthen knowing my grandmother was dead and just going into the other room because I didn't want it to be true.

But it was. And so is Didion. I just wish she could believe that there's an eye on the sparrow. But I understand why she can't.

3 Comments:

Blogger Amy said...

I just red it to, McP, and I can't let it go. Did you hear her interview on Fresh Air?

2:11 PM, October 19, 2005

 
Blogger McPolack said...

I didn't, unfortunately, and I also missed her visit to Harvard -- I'll check the Fresh Air site, though, maybe they'll have it saved.

6:17 PM, October 19, 2005

 
Blogger Amy said...

I'm glad you were able to interpret that coded message, McP :) By "red" I secretly meant "read," and even though I wrote "to," you knew that I meant "too!"

8:35 PM, October 19, 2005

 

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