"Critics of Joan Didion—and they are legion—fall into several camps, the largest and best-organized…"

“Critics of Joan Didion—and they are legion—fall into several camps, the largest and best-organized of which maintains that she’s a downer. “Can nothing be done to cheer this woman up?” asked Darcy O’Brien in the lede to his exasperated New York magazine review of The White Album. Or, as Sandra Hawk of Fort Worth, Texas, wrote to the editors of Life magazine in the January 23, 1970, issue: “Your new writer, Joan Didion, is not exactly ‘Little Mary Sunshine,’ is she?” Guilty as charged. What Didion wrote about were the exquisitely tender and often deeply melancholy feelings that are such a large part of the inner lives of women and especially of very young women—and girls—who are leaving behind the uncomplicated, romance-drenched state of youth and coming to terms with what comes next.”

-

It strikes me, perhaps really for the first time, that—maybe counterintuitively, considering that women are expected to be connected to their emotions—to express deep sadness as a woman, ennui, melancholy, bitterness, in a public forum is a very feminist act. (via kels-ium

)

Leave a Reply