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The White Album

The White Album By Joan Didion The White Album First published in The White Album is a journalistic mosaic of American life in the late s and throughout the s It includes among other bizarre artifacts and personalities reportage on

  • Title: The White Album
  • Author: Joan Didion
  • ISBN: 9780374522216
  • Page: 349
  • Format: Paperback
  • The White Album By Joan Didion First published in 1979, The White Album is a journalistic mosaic of American life in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s It includes, among other bizarre artifacts and personalities, reportage on the dark journeys and impulses of the Manson family, a visit to a Black Panther Party press conference, the story of John Paul Getty s museum, a meditation on the romancFirst published in 1979, The White Album is a journalistic mosaic of American life in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s It includes, among other bizarre artifacts and personalities, reportage on the dark journeys and impulses of the Manson family, a visit to a Black Panther Party press conference, the story of John Paul Getty s museum, a meditation on the romance of water in an arid landscape, and reflections on the swirl and confusion that marked this era With commanding sureness of mood and language, Didion exposes the realities and dreams of an age of self discovery whose spiritual center was California Table of ContentsI THE WHITE ALBUM The White Album II CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC James Pike, American Holy Water Many Mansions The Getty Bureaucrats Good Citizens Notes Toward a Dreampolitik III WOMEN The Women s Movement Doris Lessing Georgia O Keeffe IV SOJOURNS In the Islands In Hollywood In Bed On the Road On the Mall In Bogota At the Dam V ON THE MORNING AFTER THE SIXTIES On the Morning After the Sixties Quiet Days in Malibu
    The White Album By Joan Didion

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    One thought on “The White Album

    1. Darwin8u on said:

      We tell ourselves stories in order to live We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the ideas with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience Joan Didion, The White Album I wish I could dance like Fred Astaire and [...]

    2. Nancy on said:

      The White Album was required reading for my American Experience class I didn t love the book at first, but after a couple of essays, Didion s quiet style started to grow on me This collection is a revealing narrative of events that occurred in the 1960 s and 1970 s It examines the lives of famous and infamous people and places Charles Manson, Ram n Novarro, the Hoover Dam, Huey Newton, the California freeway, Bogot , Doris Lessing, and others Didion gives candid and thoughtful snapshots of a tim [...]

    3. Orsodimondo on said:

      CI RACCONTIAMO STORIE PER VIVEREC chi trova lo stile di Joan Didion irritante e artificioso, e la accusa di prendersi troppo sul serio, di mettersi sempre al centro della narrazione.Io no.A me piace la sua enfasi, mi piacciono le sue ripetizioni, il suo cominciare e finire periodi consecutivi con frasi identiche, l uso che fa della congiunzione e come direbbe Martin Amis, batte perfino una canzone di Leonard Cohen , il suo ritmo magnetico, la sua melodia, la sua ricerca di un eco, il suo inceder [...]

    4. Greg on said:

      In one essay Joan Didion mentions Grace Cathedral Park in San Francisco I don t know anything about the cathedral or the park except that it s the name and setting for one of my all time favorite songs My love for Mark Kozelek and the Red House Painters is marred a bit by what an asshole he was when I saw Red House Painters live How does someone write such great songs and act like such a monumental douche which apparently is his normal live persona, he yells at the audience, plays rambling thing [...]

    5. Eric on said:

      If I had started with The White Album instead of Slouching Toward Bethlehem I might have been spared two years of blithely embarrassing myself with statements like Joan Didion She s ok Actually she s amazing The rhythms of her self dramatization in Slouching were too arch for my taste, or perhaps for my mood The White Album must be different, or I must have changed, because I love the persona that emerges from its rhythms She s brooding, migrainous, in the first essay paranoid, yet essentially t [...]

    6. Brian on said:

      Reading Didion s essays is not unlike unearthing a time capsule you didn t know existed from a parallel universe that appears earthlike Sure, there are words like California and feminism and Malibu but Didion does things to those familiar events and locales that changes them into an unique vision, a Didionism Whether we re standing with her on Oak Street below the Black Panthers HQ receiving a visual pat down, retracing author James Jones steps along the army barracks in Honolulu or mesmerized b [...]

    7. Geoff on said:

      I didn t love these essays until about the midpoint, The Women s Movement , a devastatingly good piece about the watering down of feminism in mid century America, about the heartbreaking shift of a vitally important revolutionary movement as it lost touch with its ideological base and became ever a vehicle appropriated by a leisure class, its goals moving away from seeking the possibility for an individual to create their own unique destiny unfettered by traditional obstacles and bias, and movi [...]

    8. Julie Ehlers on said:

      As was the case with Joan Didion s Slouching Towards Bethlehem, certain aspects of The White Album seem hopelessly dated I have no idea who Bishop James Pike is, for instance, and now that I ve read about him I still don t really care But another aspect of this collection irked me even Didion s all encompassing weariness, her mild derision for seemingly everything and everyone with whom she crosses paths Even in her younger years, did Joan Didion ever get excited about anything, ever, even thin [...]

    9. Aloke on said:

      I enjoyed this dystopian look at a far future California under attack the rescue boat operation at Paradise Cove, the beach operations at Leo Carrillo, Nicholas, Point Dume, Corral, Malibu Surfrider, Malibu Lagoon, Las Tunas, Topanga North and Topanga South Those happen to be the names of some Malibu public beaches but in the Zuma lookout that day the names took on the sound of battle stations during a doubtful cease fire All quiet at Leo Situation normal at Surfrider And its terrible aftermath [...]

    10. Mind the Book on said:

      What I love sl mig ner p ett kaf och str ckl sa en bok.Inleds med de bevingade orden We tell ourselves stories in order to live.L stips fr n detta radioprogram sverigesradio sida avsnitt

    11. Tosh on said:

      This is my first Joan Didion book, and for me, it s a hit and miss An enjoyable read and obviously a good writer, but I don t feel any sense of passion or deep interest I was curious to read The White Album because I live in Los Angeles I remember the Charles Manson times as being very scary in Los Angeles, and Didion captures those horrifying moments as it happened One gravely suspected things are not entirely OK, which was a direct contrast with the Hippie thing at the time A bad vibe comes ov [...]

    12. Feliks on said:

      This undersung little book rates so highly with me that it very nearly earns my vote for the best writing by any modern day American woman author Period I would make it my 1 choice, but that honor goes to horror authoress Shirley Jackson If we focus only on 20c American nonfiction then it is certainly my 1 favorite title beating out all works by all other females, and also all males David McCullough, Norman Mailer, Hunter Thompson, Tom Wolfe, Gore Vidal, etc as well Did you hear what I just said [...]

    13. Cadu França on said:

      I started reading this book after joining a Facebook group that set out to read all of the 10 books Greta Gerwig mentions in a Vulture article as her desert island books I had no idea who Joan Didion was but by page twenty I had already started to really enjoy her writing Not exactly the subject matter whatever, but her approach to them.I also got to think about Greta Gerwig s work a few times, and not only in the parts where she writes about driving in Sacramento, but also at a certain point wh [...]

    14. Anna Strömberg on said:

      Det fanns ett antal ess er i den h r boken som var riktigt, riktigt bra, s rskilt texterna i kapitlen The White Album, Women och On the Morning After the Sixties Jag delar dock inte Didions fascination f r vare sig akvedukter eller k pcentrum l sningen av dessa var allts inte lika l sv rda som de ovann mnda, tycker jag Men ver lag r The White Album en v ldigt bra bok.

    15. David Sasaki on said:

      I ve always thought that I was somehow na ve to some sort of greater truth about reality, or at least the United States, or at least California, because I had never read anything by Joan Didion Friends and acquaintances and strangers spoke of her with a sort of ineloquent awe as if their own descriptions could never match her lucid prose or mental acuity.Now that I have actually read her own words I want to know, what is all the fuss about I find Barbara Grizzutti Harrison s 1980 essay much res [...]

    16. christa on said:

      Dear Shevaun, You left a self addressed envelope, the size of a note card, in the Duluth Public Library s copy of The White Album, a collection of essays by Joan Didion Your name as both the sender and receiver Both address labels indicate an association with the University of Florida One is decorated with a UF, the other a cartoonish profile of a cartoon gator, its snout hanging out of a decorative oval Neither label is very artistic minded, not the finest work of a graphic designer I doubt thi [...]

    17. aconeyisland on said:

      Un marted mattina a casa sua La graziosa Nancy Reagan, allora moglie del governatore della California, era in piedi nella sala da pranzo della sua casa in affitto sulla Quarantacinquesima Strada di Sacramento, e ascoltava un giornalista televisivo che le spiegava cosa voleva fare Ascoltava attentamente Nancy Reagan un ascoltatrice molto attenta La troupe televisiva voleva osservarla, disse il giornalista, mentre faceva esattamente quello che avrebbe fatto di solito un marted mattina a casa sua D [...]

    18. Sentimental Surrealist on said:

      I like this than the better known Slouching Towards Bethlehem, and it s quite possibly my favorite Didion period Slouching revealed her terrific intelligence and acerbic tone, but the White Album is the next step after that Here, she also reveals bits of her personality, and not just the skeptic that bleeds through everything she does you get a sense of her odd obsessions that no one else has, told with self deprecating wit her dry sense of humor and a little vulnerability, as in her famous ess [...]

    19. Larry Bassett on said:

      I listened to this book in the audible format In thinking back about it I think of the words exotic and privileged It seemed much about life in California and in other parts of the world I have never spent much time in those places so it sometimes seems interesting but it seemed to me that Joan spent much of her time in places and with people whom I would not much enjoy As a result I did not much enjoy this book Usually I like books about the 1960s and 1970s because those were times that were im [...]

    20. Rick Slane on said:

      Essays from the late 1960 s to the late 1970 s I skipped some of them.

    21. Shirleen R on said:

      The White Album 1979 proved to me why writers still regard Joan Didion as the among the best crafter of observational essays in the U.S While reading my library edition, a discounted e audiobook version 2 became available You bet I snapped up this recording Her sentence cadences, her candor and what I say sets this collection apart her vulnerability is why I needed to listen to a voice speak Didion s thoughts Don t think I put Didion on a pedestal, or regard her as some goddess It s when she wri [...]

    22. Vanessa on said:

      We tell ourselves stories in order to liveWe look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images by the ideas with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience The White Album Joan Didion can string a compound sentence full of five do [...]

    23. Kevin on said:

      I loved this book, a raw look at the late 60 s early 70s Something we should stress at this press conference is who owns the media You don t think it s common knowledge that the papers represent corporate interests a realist among them interjected doubtfully I don t think it s understood That s a quote from the book about striking students How did we get from students who understood that the media was a business, run by corporations that were out for themselves to today where a vast segment of t [...]

    24. Camille A on said:

      3.5I like Didion s style, the way she writes about California is what she is well known for, and of course, that s what I most enjoyed about this book 50% of the essays and pieces were delightful, one was challenging The Women s movement, couldn t figure out what was Didion s point and I m not sure she could either , and the rest talked about topics so particular that it left me quite uninterested and unimpressed, hence the 3 stars rating She s an interesting author and I cannot wait to dig int [...]

    25. Michael on said:

      A fine example of juxtaposing public cultural events with personal experiences, a kind of journalism Didion practically invented and Hunter Thompson took over the top By putting her reflections on political and social events in the context of her interests and activities at the time, the social impacts of the events are made particular in an intimate way But is their significance made meaningful or universal with such a method I couldn t help wondering that with each essay Didion dished up in [...]

    26. John Spillane on said:

      I liked the last couple pages of Didion s Play It As It Lays enough to bounce it from 2 to 4 stars so I think she has skill and a keen sense of what works and what doesn t 70% of this is hardcore also rans from what I can only assume must be a great Slouching Towards Bethlehem I would be shocked if she felt otherwise I was begrudgingly going to bump this from 2.5 to 3.0 until I saw the average rating and all the rave reviews.There are pieces that really shine the orchid bit and the entire Women [...]

    27. Nellie Airoldi on said:

      Vorrei immaginare la Joan Didion dei saggi raccolti inVerso Betlemme e in The White Album con i capelli arruffati, che non vuole richiedere alla reception che ore sono e che quindi si rimette a testa bassa sulla propria macchina da scrivere, immergendosi nel suo lavoro come se non ci fosse n spazio n tempo, tanto che nel silenzio della stanza, invece delle lancette dell orologio, sono i ticchettii della sua macchina da scrivere a scandire il tempo Inutile aggiungere che di questa Joan Didion che [...]

    28. Milky Mixer on said:

      My first Joan Didion I loved it My boyfriend read the essay about the mall and described it as avant garde I guess that means it s right up my alley I did connect with that one I found most of The White Album to be topical and reflective, even though these essays are 40 50 years old Ms Didion s meanderings might not be for everyone, but I m hooked Very much looking forward to reading of her books.

    29. Karen on said:

      Damn Joan Didion can WRITE How in the world did I go this long without reading her I picked up White Album because it was on a list of quintessentially LA books and because one of the essays featured heavily in Tender at the Bone I suspect 2017 will be my year of reading Didion s entire back catalog Fave essays include Georgia O Keeffe, The Getty, and Holy Water.

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