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Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Slouching Towards Bethlehem By Joan Didion Slouching Towards Bethlehem This classic collection of journalism defined the state of America during the upheaval of the sixties revolution The essays feature barricades and bombings mass murders and kidnapped heiresses

  • Title: Slouching Towards Bethlehem
  • Author: Joan Didion
  • ISBN: 9780374521721
  • Page: 155
  • Format: Paperback
  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem By Joan Didion This classic collection of journalism defined the state of America during the upheaval of the sixties revolution The essays feature barricades and bombings, mass murders and kidnapped heiresses.
    Slouching Towards Bethlehem By Joan Didion

    • ☆ Slouching Towards Bethlehem ✓ Joan Didion
      155 Joan Didion

    One thought on “Slouching Towards Bethlehem

    1. Julie Christine on said:

      My mother was a freshman in college when I was a freshman in high school Married at seventeen, her 1960s and 70s were spent as a young wife and mother of four It wasn t until she divorced at thirty six, the same year Ronald Reagan ushered in the folly of trickle down economics and the prison industrial complex, that she discovered the sixties She majored in English and one day brought home, as a reading assignment, a copy of Slouching Towards Bethlehem I recall the cover gun metal gray with whit [...]

    2. Darwin8u on said:

      The blood dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhereThe ceremony of innocence is drowned The Second Coming, Yeats I know something about dread myself, and appreciate the elaborate systems with which some people fill the void, appreciate all the opiates of the people, whether they are as accessible as alcohol and heroin and promiscuity or as hard to come by as faith in God or History Joan Didion, Slouching Towards BethlehemI m sure at some point Joan Didion will disappoint I m positive the honeymoon p [...]

    3. Orsodimondo on said:

      BEI TEMPI ADDIONonostante in un capitolo questo libro raccoglie articoli usciti su riviste dal titolo Non riesco a togliermi quel mostro dalla testa, la signora Didion esprima opinioni tranchant su Kubrick, Antonioni, Visconti, Bergman, dimostrando per la prima e unica volta che perfino lei pu sbagliare, prendere cantonate e dire bestialit , ho amato questo libro e amo profondamente questa meravigliosa scrittrice, sentimento costruito su una breve intensa conoscenza incontrata per la prima volta [...]

    4. Cheryl on said:

      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 Somehow, I usually read Didion on a blue night, when it s so bright outside that I open my curtains to search for the moon instead, what greets me is a pale hue of blue sky When I read Blue Nights, I had a similar experience These [...]

    5. Jenny (Reading Envy) on said:

      This is Joan s first essay collection, and the focus is largely on California, in the 1960s, with a few exceptions I love her ability to write about people and to connect them to specific places It feels like a time capsule about a place that doesn t exist the same way any, at least not completely Even the Santa Ana winds may have changed.

    6. Quinn Slobodian on said:

      I realize what is disturbing about these essays and what leaves the acrid aftertaste on the leftist tongue about Didion And I don t think it has much to do with her relatively measured take on the drug addled Haight Ashbury scene For better, but admittedly and sadly often for worse, the radical leftist imagination has been characterized by a willingness and a desire to leap out of our skin into the skin of others, to experience a jump of radical empathy in which the concerns of they become the c [...]

    7. BillKerwin on said:

      Days after Manson died, I kept thinking about him, how he and his Family had summoned the darkness at the heart of the Summer of Love I remembered how surprised we all were, that the drugs and the smiles and the flowers had come to this, but then I thought, no, not all of us Joan Didion would have understood Joan Didion would not have been surprised.Slouching Toward Bethlehem, a collection of magazine essays and Didion s second book, is about many things, but mostly it is about 60 s California I [...]

    8. Hadrian on said:

      In reading the essays in Slouching Towards Bethlehem, I feel a vague sense of unease Within each essay, there is some revelation of anxiety or untruth Within every person, there is a moment of quiet desperation Within a the placid calm of a country marriage, there is a murder Within each city, there lie feelings of lost hope and disillusionment Within each person, there is some quiet desperation In reading these essays, some rough beast has come round at last Didion s style is taut, but repetiti [...]

    9. David on said:

      Joan Didion is an insightful and skeptical thinker, an astute ironist, and a beautiful prose stylist Slouching Towards Bethlehem exemplifies her craft While all of her essays are exemplary in form, some fall by the wayside of memory, and even only a week removed from my first foray in Didion, only a few remain with me with any moving power Slouching Towards Bethlehem skirts the two worlds of my known intimacy and my unknown distance what it means to be a twentysomething, a skeptic, a thinker, an [...]

    10. El on said:

      I don t mean to be super fangirl about this collection, because a lot of the essays were fine but didn t blow my socks off However, the ones that I really liked I really fucking liked And I know that a couple of months from now, probably even a few years from now, even with my shitty shit memory, I will look back at this collection and think happy thoughts because of the essays that made my little Grinch heart explode into brightly flavored fireworks of flowers and sunshine and unicorns.I don t [...]

    11. Diane on said:

      Joan Didion, where have you been all my life My husband has been trying to get me to read her books for years, and I see now how blindly stupid I ve been in not reading her sooner Most of the essays in Slouching Towards Bethlethem are wondrous there were only a few that didn t amaze me The piece on the Haight Ashbury district, for example, dragged on way too long and wasn t as interesting as it would have been when it first appeared in 1967 Similarly, the 1964 piece on Hollywood was so enmeshed [...]

    12. Matt on said:

      I loved the sheer beauty and rigor and power of the sentences I d never read anything by her before but I d heard great things I picked this up for 50 cents on a lark and found it to be ideal subway reading.I don t say this lightly, mind I spend a lot of time reading on subway arsis prettylongaandvitais DEFINITELYbrevis and having a book that meshes well with the overal mise en scene is key It might be that Didion seems to be uniquely fascinated with urban landscapes and the ephemera of modern p [...]

    13. Lynne King on said:

      How can one possibly not love Joan Didion be it for her fiction or non fiction These twenty essays demonstrate her skills not only as a journalist but also as an incredible author I must confess the essay on Howard Hughes scintillated me As for the title which I found very unusual I was intrigued to see that W.B Yeats was Didion s inspiration, as shown in the last two sentences of his poem And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born Why did she choose [...]

    14. Vanessa on said:

      3.5 stars The writing exemplifies the sentiments and mood of the counter culture of the 60 s, Didion does indeed capture it exceptionally well Dry and sharply delivered and filled with references and dissections of social issues she is definitely the voice of a generation albeit it comes across a little dated now I wish I could say I liked this collection as a whole, not all essays resonated with me and left me underwhelmed often than not, I had high hopes for this so maybe my expectations were [...]

    15. Sophie on said:

      Joan Didion See enough and write it down , , 1960, , , , Howl Ginsberg The Second Coming Yeats, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born , Didion The center was not holding It was a country of bankruptcy notices and public auction announcements and commonplace reports of casual killings and misplaced children and abandoned homes and vandals who misplaced even the four letter words they scrawled It was a country in which families routinely disappea [...]

    16. Julie Ehlers on said:

      I decided to get my Joan Didion on this summer in preparation for the biography that comes out next month, and Slouching Towards Bethlehem, her first essay collection, seemed like a good place to start It s true that some of these essays are hopelessly dated, kind of like those true crime articles that appear in Vanity Fair that no one s going to care about in five months, let alone fifty years although the majority of these particular essays were published in The Saturday Evening Post But overa [...]

    17. Hunter Murphy on said:

      This is the book that made me fall in love with Joan Didion Her prose is like a razor What style she has Her essays in this collection prove that it s not what you write but how you write it Of course, I appreciated her subject matter too and her eye for a good story, and the way she cut through social issues, as she did the hippie myths of Haight Ashbury during the 1960s in San Francisco.One of my favorites is one called, On Keeping a Notebook, where the great Didion talks about writing and not [...]

    18. Rosana on said:

      I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind s door at 4 a.m of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we w [...]

    19. James Smith on said:

      I have sort of read Joan Didion backwards, beginning with her masterful memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking, and now working my way back to Slouching Towards Bethlehem one of those books that casts a long shadow over contemporary nonfiction I picked up this book as a companion for a recent trip back to Los Angeles, both because Didion is one of those rare creatures who is a native of California, but also because California figures prominently in these essays But I became so absorbed in the book [...]

    20. Patrick O'Neil on said:

      Everyone I know who reads a lot or considers themselves writers has told me to read Joan Didion I always cringe and go the other way when too many people tell me to do the same thing I m not sure where, or when, this resistance to Didion started But it has somehow manifested itself in my psyche During my first semester at Antioch University, Rob Roberge, in one of his brilliant seminars, made a few comical references to her Not her writing, but of Didion, or precisely the cult of Didion much to [...]

    21. britt_brooke on said:

      We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were Wow, this was so good What a smart and thoughtful essay collection, consisting mostly of journalism pieces and personal experiences in 1960s California Can t wait to read Didion This was my first PS Keaton s narration was pretty meh I got tired of it quickly.

    22. Bloodorange on said:

      At thirty three or four, Didion of Slouching Towards Bethlehem is still a girl I recognize the signs Some people capable of voicing their thoughts on subjects such as Self Respect and Morality are born middle aged others, possibly due to their specific upbringing, remain questioning, uncertain, young Her parents relocated multiple times during her childhood her father was in the military , which left her feeling a perpetual outsider.Her voice is that of a well mannered young woman, quiet and per [...]

    23. Nate D on said:

      It should come as no surprise that this collection of Joan Didion s essays and journalism from the the mid sixties leading up to her publication of Play It As It Lays is thoroughly good, cynical, and perceptive She writes about societal malaise and the ominous leisure landscapes of California all quite wonderfully, in particular Though it does leave me wanting to grab of her fiction soon, as well.

    24. Edward on said:

      Hey, yeah The 1960s Happy times, heavy times These are the opening lines to the 1972 cartoon movie Fritz the Cat a movie I was drawn to decades later when I discovered it in my late teens For me it was a window to a exciting time, an era narrowly missed, a world that was only just waking up, when to be young meant to live freely and love easily, and to seize the day and change the world required no than to step outside one s own front door Well, that s how I saw it at the time, but of course t [...]

    25. Eric on said:

      I find very attractive the skeptical, reflexively ironic persona that comes through in these essays, as well as the unshockable sang froid of her prose rhythm but to call the book a classic, or a stylistic masterpiece as the back cover does, seems a bit much None of these essays, singly, is anything I could cherish If I encountered any of them in a magazine I would think she s a good writer and move on There s nothing at least for intellectual pith that compares with Richard Rodriguez s Late Vic [...]

    26. Aric Cushing on said:

      Incredible The nonfiction piece Dreamers of the Golden Dream I have read over and over through the years An incredible depiction of California desert life, and the true crime murder of a dentist I cannot do it justice here because I am writing quickly, but this POSITIVELY is a MUST READ, if not just for the first nonfiction piece in this voluminous collection This entire book is also in the collection We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live , which is all of Didion s work.

    27. Jesse on said:

      The wry and casual elegance of Didion s prose style remains quite special despite the endless attempts at imitation in the decades that have followed she also has that rare talent of being able to make you think you re reading something lightweight, even disposable and then at the last minute flooring you by unleashing an unexpected torrent of significance and resonance.But as lovely and thoroughly enjoyable as these essays were, I will always be grateful for a disclosure Didion makes in the col [...]

    28. Ben Loory on said:

      Weird book Had to sit with it a while after I was done Left me with kind of a bad taste Didion s sharp as hell and can write circles around pretty much anybody but she sure doesn t register high on the ol compassion meter Plus you never get the sense that she s actually learned anything while writing these pieces, like she s just constantly having her prejudices borne out Only in the last piece, Goodbye To All That, and maybe especially and strangely the one about John Wayne does she actually f [...]

    29. Diane S ☔ on said:

      Hard to believe but this is the first Joan Didion book I have ever read In this book, a series of essays, Didion takes on the sixties and the many different components that makes this time period so memorable Her wide range of subject matter is amazing, from a courtroom and a trial to Las Vegas weddings, from Haight Ashbury to John Wayne and much Her writing is so clear and concise, basically I loved it This is my first, but not my last Didion.

    30. Ryan Chapman on said:

      This woman writes like I think When I m at my most lucid and firing all of my synapses The essay Slouching Toward Bethlehem was as great as I d heard On Self Respect was shattering in its clarity Didion doesn t write about things, the writes them wholly And the last piece, Goodbye to All That, about living in NYC, was beautiful at parts I just hope I don t drown in myself the way she did and have to move.

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