California and the Melancholic American Identity in Joan Didion s Novels

California and the Melancholic American Identity in Joan Didion   s Novels
Author: Katarzyna Nowak McNeice
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9780429655319
Available:
Release: 2018-12-21
Editor: Routledge
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

California and the Melancholic American Identity in Joan Didion’s Novels: Exiled from Eden focuses on the concept of Californian identity in the fiction of Joan Didion. This identity is understood as melancholic, in the sense that the critics following the tradition of both Sigmund Freud and Walter Benjamin use the word. The book traces the progress of the way Californian identity is portrayed in Joan Didion’s novels, starting with the first two in which California plays the central role, Run River and Play It As It Lays, through A Book of Common Prayer to Democracy and The Last Thing He Wanted, where California functions only as a distant point of reference, receding to the background of Didion’s interests. Curiously enough, Didion presents Californian history as a history of white settlement, disregarding whole chapters of the history of the region in which the Californios and Native Americans, among other groups, played a crucial role: it is this reticence that the monograph sees as the main problem of Didion’s fiction and presents it as the silent center of gravity in Didion’s oeuvre. The monograph proposes to see the melancholy expressed by Didion’s fiction organized into four losses: of Nature, History, Ethics, and Language; around which the main analytical chapters are constructed. What remains unrepresented and silenced comes back to haunt Didion’s fiction, and it results in a melancholic portrayal of California and its identity – which is the central theme this monograph addresses.

California and the Melancholic American Identity in Joan Didion s Novels

California and the Melancholic American Identity in Joan Didion s Novels
Author: Katarzyna Nowak-McNeice
Pages: 202
ISBN: 0429025637
Available:
Release: 2018-12-07
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

California and the Melancholic American Identity in Joan Didion's Novels: Exiled from Eden focuses on the concept of Californian identity in the fiction of Joan Didion. This identity is understood as melancholic, in the sense that the critics following the tradition of both Sigmund Freud and Walter Benjamin use the word. The book traces the progress of the way Californian identity is portrayed in Joan Didion's novels, starting with the first two in which California plays the central role, Run River and Play It As It Lays, through A Book of Common Prayer to Democracy and The Last Thing He Wanted, where California functions only as a distant point of reference, receding to the background of Didion's interests. Curiously enough, Didion presents Californian history as a history of white settlement, disregarding whole chapters of the history of the region in which the Californios and Native Americans, among other groups, played a crucial role: it is this reticence that the monograph sees as the main problem of Didion's fiction and presents it as the silent center of gravity in Didion's oeuvre. The monograph proposes to see the melancholy expressed by Didion's fiction organized into four losses: of Nature, History, Ethics, and Language; around which the main analytical chapters are constructed. What remains unrepresented and silenced comes back to haunt Didion's fiction, and it results in a melancholic portrayal of California and its identity - which is the central theme this monograph addresses.

Joan Didion

Joan Didion
Author: Kathleen M. Vandenberg
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9781438481401
Available:
Release: 2021-02-01
Editor: SUNY Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Explores how Didion’s nonfiction prose style, often lauded for being beautiful and poetic, also works rhetorically. Much acclaimed and often imitated, Joan Didion remains one of the leading American essayists and political journalists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The lone woman writer among the New Journalists in the 1960s and ’70s, Didion became a powerful critic of public and political mythologies in the ’80s and ’90s, and was an inspiration for those, particularly women, dealing with aging and grief and loss in the early 2000s. An iconic figure, Didion is still much admired by readers, critics, and essayists, who speak of looking to her prose style as a model for their own. In Joan Didion: Substance and Style, Kathleen M. Vandenberg explores how Didion’s nonfiction prose style, often lauded for its beauty and poetry, also works rhetorically. Through close readings of selected nonfiction from the last forty years—biographically, culturally, and politically situated—Vandenberg reveals how Didion deliberately and powerfully employs style to emphasize her point of view and enchant her readers. While Didion continues to publish and the “Cult of Joan,” as one author calls it, grows seemingly stronger by the day, this book is the only extended treatment of Didion’s later nonfiction and the first sustained and close consideration of how her essays work at the level of the sentence. Kathleen M. Vandenberg is Senior Lecturer in Rhetoric at Boston University.

Mapping the Private Geography

Mapping the Private Geography
Author: Gerri Reaves
Pages: 168
ISBN: 0786450681
Available:
Release: 2001-01-10
Editor: McFarland
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This study of autobiographical writing and its reflection of personal and national identity analyzes the different ways in which these authors balance individual American identity with collective identities and reinvent their familial, cultural, and national engenderings. In each of the works discussed, a private geography - a psychological map, a myth, an ideology, or a fiction - is posited, while its author explores claims to the ownership of memory, history, and the self.

Where I Was From

Where I Was From
Author: Joan Didion
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780307787958
Available:
Release: 2012-01-27
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In this moving and unexpected book, Joan Didion reassesses parts of her life, her work, her history, and ours. Where I Was From, in Didion’s words, “represents an exploration into my own confusions about the place and the way in which I grew up, confusions as much about America as about California, misapprehensions and misunderstandings so much a part of who I became that I can still to this day confront them only obliquely.” The book is a haunting narrative of how her own family moved west with the frontier from the birth of her great-great-great-great-great-grandmother in Virginia in 1766 to the death of her mother on the edge of the Pacific in 2001; of how the wagon-train stories of hardship and abandonment and endurance created a culture in which survival would seem the sole virtue. In Where I Was From, Didion turns what John Leonard has called “her sonar ear, her radar eye” onto her own work, as well as that of such California writers as Frank Norris and Jack London and Henry George, to examine how the folly and recklessness in the very grain of the California settlement led to the California we know today–a state mortgaged first to the railroad, then to the aerospace industry, and overwhelmingly to the federal government, a dependent colony of those political and corporate owners who fly in for the annual encampment of the Bohemian Club. Here is the one writer we always want to read on California showing us the startling contradictions in its–and in America’s–core values. Joan Didion’s unerring sense of America and its spirit, her acute interpretation of its institutions and literature, and her incisive questioning of the stories it tells itself make this fiercely intelligent book a provocative and important tour de force from one of our greatest writers. From the Hardcover edition.

A Dark California

A Dark California
Author: Katarzyna Nowak-McNeice,Agata Zarzycka
Pages: 215
ISBN: 9781476667836
Available:
Release: 2017-11-30
Editor: McFarland
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"This collection of essays traces a central theme of darkness through literature, video games, music, TV series, and film. The contributors explore the interplay between positive stereotypes connected with the myth of the Golden State, the consequences of consumerism, transformations of the landscape, and the dominance of hyperreality"--

The Rough Guide to California

The Rough Guide to California
Author: Rough Guides
Pages: 857
ISBN: 184353049X
Available:
Release: 2003
Editor: Rough Guides
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An illustrated guide that covers urban hotspots such as San Francisco and LA to the natural beauty of the Yosemite National Park and the Lake Tahoe area. Camping and hiking information in Sequoia, Death Valley and the other great National Parks is included as well as the highlights of the east - Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Hotel and restaurant details are given to suit all budgets together with the lowdown on the coolest (or, failing that, the most interesting) clubs and bars. Comprehensive contexts sections featuring the best books and movies on California, as well as extracts from two best-selling authors are also included.

Run River

Run River
Author: Joan Didion
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9780307787750
Available:
Release: 2011-02-23
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Joan Didion's electrifying first novel is a haunting portrait of a marriage whose wrong turns and betrayals are at once absolutely idiosyncratic and a razor-sharp commentary on the history of California. Everett McClellan and his wife, Lily, are the great-grandchildren of pioneers, and what happens to them is a tragic epilogue to the pioneer experience, a story of murder and betrayal that only Didion could tell with such nuance, sympathy, and suspense.

Deconstruction Feminism Film

Deconstruction  Feminism  Film
Author: Sarah Dillon
Pages: 264
ISBN: 9781474434218
Available:
Release: 2018-09-30
Editor: Edinburgh University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

First book-length ecocritical study of Cold War American literature

The Last Thing He Wanted

The Last Thing He Wanted
Author: Joan Didion
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780307787330
Available:
Release: 2011-02-16
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

National Bestseller This intricate, fast-paced story about "trying to create a context for democracy and getting hands a little dirty in the process" is an incisive and chilling look at a modern world where things are not working as they should—and where the oblique and official language is as sinister as the events it is covering up. The narrator introduces Elena McMahon, estranged from a life of celebrity fundraisers and from her powerful West Coast husband, Wynn Janklow, whom she has left, taking Catherine, her daughter, to become a reporter for The Washington Post. She finds herself boarding a plane for Florida to see her father. She becomes embroiled in her his business even though "she had trained herself since childhood not to have any interest in what he was doing." It is from this moment that she is caught up in something much larger than she could have imagined. Into this startling vision of conspiracies, arms dealing, and assassinations, Didion makes connections among Dallas, Iran-Contra, and Castro, and points up how "spectral companies with high-concept names tended to interlock." As this book builds to its terrifying finish, we see the underpinnings of a dark historical underbelly.

California

California
Author: Anonim
Pages: 329
ISBN: STANFORD:36105013838722
Available:
Release: 1986
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The Last Love Song

The Last Love Song
Author: Tracy Daugherty
Pages: 672
ISBN: 9781466877405
Available:
Release: 2015-08-25
Editor: St. Martin's Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In The Last Love Song, Tracy Daugherty, the critically acclaimed author of Hiding Man (a New Yorker and New York Times Notable book) and Just One Catch, and subject of the hit documentary The Center Will Not Hold on Netflix delves deep into the life of distinguished American author and journalist Joan Didion in this, the first printed biography published about her life. Joan Didion lived a life in the public and private eye with her late husband, writer John Gregory Dunne, whom she met while the two were working in New York City when Didion was at Vogue and Dunne was writing for Time. They became wildly successful writing partners when they moved to Los Angeles and co-wrote screenplays and adaptations together. Didion is well-known for her literary journalistic style in both fiction and non-fiction. Some of her most-notable work includes Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Run River, and The Year of Magical Thinking, a National Book Award winner and shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize. It dealt with the grief surrounding Didion after the loss of her husband and daughter. Daugherty takes readers on a journey back through time, following a young Didion in Sacramento through to her adult life as a writer interviewing those who know and knew her personally, while maintaining a respectful distance from the reclusive literary great. The Last Love Song reads like fiction; lifelong fans, and readers learning about Didion for the first time will be enthralled with this impressive tribute.

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Author: Joan Didion
Pages: 361
ISBN: 9781504045650
Available:
Release: 2017-03-21
Editor: Open Road Media
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The “dazzling” and essential portrayal of 1960s America from the author of South and West and The Year of Magical Thinking (The New York Times). Capturing the tumultuous landscape of the United States, and in particular California, during a pivotal era of social change, the first work of nonfiction from one of American literature’s most distinctive prose stylists is a modern classic. In twenty razor-sharp essays that redefined the art of journalism, National Book Award–winning author Joan Didion reports on a society gripped by a deep generational divide, from the “misplaced children” dropping acid in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district to Hollywood legend John Wayne filming his first picture after a bout with cancer. She paints indelible portraits of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes and folk singer Joan Baez, “a personality before she was entirely a person,” and takes readers on eye-opening journeys to Death Valley, Hawaii, and Las Vegas, “the most extreme and allegorical of American settlements.” First published in 1968, Slouching Towards Bethlehem has been heralded by the New York Times Book Review as “a rare display of some of the best prose written today in this country” and named to Time magazine’s list of the one hundred best and most influential nonfiction books. It is the definitive account of a terrifying and transformative decade in American history whose discordant reverberations continue to sound a half-century later.

Eat the Document

Eat the Document
Author: Dana Spiotta
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780743273008
Available:
Release: 2006-11-28
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Idealistic activists Bobby and Mary find the course of their lives irrevocably changed when a series of radical protests against the Vietnam War goes wrong, a situation that forces them to separate and culminates years later in painful memories.

Democracy

Democracy
Author: Joan Didion
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780307787378
Available:
Release: 2011-02-16
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Moving deftly between romance, farce, and tragedy, from Honolulu to Jakarta, Democracy is a tour de force from a writer who can dissect an entire society with a single phrase. Inez Victor knows that the major casualty of the political life is memory. But the people around Inez have made careers out of losing track. Her senator husband wants to forget the failure of his last bid for the presidency. Her husband's handler would like the press to forget that Inez's father is a murderer. And, in 1975, the year in which much of this bitterly funny novel is set, America is doing its best to lose track of its one-time client, the lethally hemorrhaging republic of South Vietnam. As conceived by Joan Didion, these personages and events constitute the terminal fallout of democracy, a fallout that also includes fact-finding junkets, senatorial groupies, the international arms market, and the Orwellian newspeak of the political class.

Listening for the Secret

Listening for the Secret
Author: Ulf Olsson
Pages: 200
ISBN: 9780520961760
Available:
Release: 2017-05-09
Editor: Univ of California Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Listening for the Secret is a critical assessment of the Grateful Dead and the distinct culture that grew out of the group’s music, politics, and performance. With roots in popular music traditions, improvisation, and the avant-garde, the Grateful Dead provides a unique lens through which we can better understand the meaning and creation of the counterculture community. Marshaling the critical and aesthetic theories of Adorno, Benjamin, Foucault and others, Ulf Olsson places the music group within discourses of the political, specifically the band’s capacity to create a unique social environment. Analyzing the Grateful Dead’s music as well as the forms of subjectivity and practices that the band generated, Olsson examines the wider significance and impact of its politics of improvisation. Ultimately, Listening for the Secret is about how the Grateful Dead Phenomenon was possible in the first place, what its social and aesthetic conditions of possibility were, and its results. This is the first book in a new series, Studies in the Grateful Dead.

The Critical Response to Joan Didion

The Critical Response to Joan Didion
Author: Sharon Felton
Pages: 276
ISBN: UOM:39015032831722
Available:
Release: 1994
Editor: Greenwood
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This volume collects an extensive range of critical commentary, both reviews and scholarly examinations, on the entire Didion canon: four works of fiction and five of nonfiction published between 1963 through 1992.

Who We re Reading When We re Reading Murakami

Who We re Reading When We re Reading Murakami
Author: David Karashima
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781593765903
Available:
Release: 2020-09-01
Editor: Catapult
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

How did a loner destined for a niche domestic audience become one of the most famous writers alive? A "fascinating" look at the "business of bringing a best-selling novelist to a global audience" (The Atlantic)―and a “rigorous” exploration of the role of translators and editors in the creation of literary culture (The Paris Review). Thirty years ago, when Haruki Murakami’s works were first being translated, they were part of a series of pocket-size English-learning guides released only in Japan. Today his books can be read in fifty languages and have won prizes and sold millions of copies globally. How did a loner destined for a niche domestic audience become one of the most famous writers alive? This book tells one key part of the story. Its cast includes an expat trained in art history who never intended to become a translator; a Chinese American ex-academic who never planned to work as an editor; and other publishing professionals in New York, London, and Tokyo who together introduced a pop-inflected, unexpected Japanese voice to the wider literary world. David Karashima synthesizes research, correspondence, and interviews with dozens of individuals—including Murakami himself—to examine how countless behind-the-scenes choices over the course of many years worked to build an internationally celebrated author’s persona and oeuvre. His careful look inside the making of the “Murakami Industry" uncovers larger questions: What role do translators and editors play in framing their writers’ texts? What does it mean to translate and edit “for a market”? How does Japanese culture get packaged and exported for the West?

Ross MacDonald

Ross MacDonald
Author: Tom Nolan
Pages: 496
ISBN: 9781501120442
Available:
Release: 2015-07-07
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

When he died in 1983, Ross Macdonald was the best-known and most highly regarded crime-fiction writer in America. Long considered the rightful successor to the mantles of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald and his Lew Archer-novels were hailed by The New York Times as "the finest series of detective novels ever written by an American." Now, in the first full-length biography of this extraordinary and influential writer, a much fuller picture emerges of a man to whom hiding things came as second nature. While it was no secret that Ross Macdonald was the pseudonym of Kenneth Millar -- a Santa Barbara man married to another good mystery writer, Margaret Millar -- his official biography was spare. Drawing on unrestricted access to the Kenneth and Margaret Millar Archives, on more than forty years of correspondence, and on hundreds of interviews with those who knew Millar well, author Tom Nolan has done a masterful job of filling in the blanks between the psychologically complex novels and the author's life -- both secret and overt. Ross Macdonald came to crime-writing honestly. Born in northern California to Canadian parents, Kenneth Millar grew up in Ontario virtually fatherless, poor, and with a mother whose mental stability was very much in question. From the age of twelve, young Millar was fighting, stealing, and breaking social and moral laws; by his own admission, he barely escaped being a criminal. Years later, Millar would come to see himself in his tales' wrongdoers. "I don't have to be violent," he said, "My books are." How this troubled young man came to be one of the most brilliant graduate students in the history of the University of Michigan and how this writer, who excelled in a genre all too often looked down upon by literary critics, came to have a lifelong friendship with Eudora Welty are all examined in the pages of Tom Nolan's meticulous biography. We come to a sympathetic understanding of the Millars' long, and sometimes rancorous, marriage and of their life in Santa Barbara, California, with their only daughter, Linda, whose legal and emotional traumas lie at the very heart of the story. But we also follow the trajectory of a literary career that began in the pages of Manhunt and ended with the great respect of such fellow writers as Marshall McLuhan, Hugh Kenner, Nelson Algren, and Reynolds Price, and the longtime distinguished publisher Alfred A. Knopf. As Ross Macdonald: A Biography makes abundantly clear, Ross Macdonald's greatest character -- above and beyond his famous Lew Archer -- was none other than his creator, Kenneth Millar.

In Search of Us

In Search of Us
Author: Ava Dellaira
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780374305338
Available:
Release: 2018-03-06
Editor: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This sweeping multi-generational love story introduces readers to mother-and-daughter pair Marilyn and Angie. To seventeen-year-old Angie, who is mixed-race, Marilyn is her hardworking, devoted white single mother. But Marilyn was once young, too. When Marilyn was seventeen, she fell in love with Angie's father, James, who was African-American. But Angie's never met him, and Marilyn has always told her he died before she was born. When Angie discovers evidence of an uncle she's never met she starts to wonder: What if her dad is still alive, too? So she sets off on a journey to find him, hitching a ride to LA from her home in New Mexico with her ex-boyfriend, Sam. Along the way, she uncovers some hard truths about herself, her mother, and what truly happened to her father.