33 Total Quotes

Joan Didion Quotes

The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs.
Joan Didion
#American Author #Acceptance

A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.
Joan Didion
#American Author

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.
Joan Didion
#Ability #Self-respect

A pool is, for many of us in the West, a symbol not of affluence but of order, of control over the uncontrollable. A pool is water, made available and useful, and is, as such, infinitely soothing to the western eye.
Joan Didion
#Control

You have to pick the places you don't walk away from.
Joan Didion
#American Author

I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.
Joan Didion
#American Author

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 4am 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.
Joan Didion
#People #Past

Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power.
Joan Didion
#American Author

Was there ever in anyone's life span a point free in time, devoid of memory, a night when choice was any more than the sum of all the choices gone before?
Joan Didion
#American Author

The secret point of money and power in America is neither the things that money can buy nor power for power's sake... but absolute personal freedom, mobility, privacy. It is the instinct which drove America to the Pacific, all through the nineteenth century, the desire to be able to find a restaurant open in case you want a sandwich, to be a free agent, live by one's own rules.
Joan Didion
#Wealth

When we start deceiving ourselves into thinking not that we want something or need something, not that it is a pragmatic necessity for us to have it, but that it is a moral imperative that we have it, then is when we join the fashionable madmen, and then is when the thin whine of hysteria is heard in the land, and then is when we are in bad trouble.
Joan Didion
#Morality

Of course great hotels have always been social ideas, flawless mirrors to the particular societies they service.
Joan Didion
#American Author

We were that generation called ''silent,'' but we were silent neither, as some thought, because we shared the period's official optimism nor, as others thought, because we feared its official repression. We were silent because the exhilaration of social action seemed to many of us just one more way of escaping the personal, of masking for a while that dread of the meaningless which was man's fate.
Joan Didion
#Twentieth Century

Americans are uneasy with their possessions, guilty about power, all of which is difficult for Europeans to perceive because they are themselves so truly materialistic, so versed in the uses of power.
Joan Didion
#American Author

A young woman with long hair and a short white halter dress walks through the casino at the Riviera in Las Vegas at one in the morning. It was precisely this moment that made Play It As It Lays begin to tell itself to me.
Joan Didion
#Woman

There is in Hollywood, as in all cultures in which gambling is the central activity, a lowered sexual energy, an inability to devote more than token attention to the preoccupations of the society outside. The action is everything, more consuming than sex, more immediate than politics; more important always than the acquisition of money, which is never, for the gambler, the true point of the exercise.
Joan Didion
#Hollywood

I think nobody owns the land until their dead are in it
Joan Didion
#Land

The fancy that extraterrestrial life is by definition of a higher order than our own is one that soothes all children, and many writers.
Joan Didion
#American Author

Life changes fast, ... Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
Joan Didion
#Life

Was it only by dreaming or writing that I could find out what I thought?
Joan Didion
#American Author

This one is really fantastic, ... It's not about grieving. It's about what happens when people die.
Joan Didion
#People

Call me the author.
Joan Didion
#American Author

The writer is always tricking the reader into listening to their dream.
Joan Didion
#American Author #Listening

Writers are always selling somebody out.
Joan Didion
#American Author

Self-respect is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has a price.
Joan Didion
#American Author

Ask anyone committed to Marxist analysis how many angels on the head of a pin, and you will be asked in return to never mind the angels, tell me who controls the production of pins.
Joan Didion
#American Author