Los Angeles Notebook Joan Didion Thesis

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"When I first saw New York some instinct, programmed by all the movies I had ever seen and all the songs I had ever heard about New York, informed me that things would never be quite the same again." "Some of us who live in arid parts of the world think about water with a reverence others might find excessive." In the aftermath of her husband's death, Didion meditates on the fickle fragility of life.

"Las Vegas is the most extreme and allegorical of American settlements, bizarre and beautiful in its venality and in its devotion to immediate gratification, a place the tone of which is set by mobsters and call girls and ladies' room attendants with amyl nitrite in their uniform pockets." " There is something uneasy in the Los Angeles air this afternoon, some unnatural stillness, some tension.

An inside look at the 1988 presidential campaign deconstructs the self-reflexive world of the American political process.

"To those of us who remained committed mainly to the exploration of moral distinctions and ambiguities, the feminist analysis seemed a particularly narrow and cracked determinism." This 1968 classic captured its era like few other books.

The mythology around the Santa Ana winds is potent enough that "Santa Ana winds in popular culture" has its own robust Wikipedia page, and they appear everywhere from Steely Dan's "Babylon Sisters" to Bret Easton Ellis's There was a desert wind blowing that night.

It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch.

For non-Angelenos, the most LA season is that brief spring, when the days are 72 degrees and sunny.

But for Angelenos, who have a far more intimate relationship with both nature and apocalypse than the 72-degrees-and-sunny crowd will ever allow, the most Los Angeles season is Santa Ana season.

Or maybe Los Angeles is lucky and there is no fire on this particular Santa Ana day, but trees are uprooted, power's lost, you wake up to a sickly yellow-pink sky and the dog skidding in frantic circles on the hardwood and the escalating feeling you've forgotten something annoying but important. Raymond Chandler isn't the only one who holds the Santa Anas responsible for bad behavior—they're said to cause migraines, irritability, even suicides and murders.

In the 19th century, the winds were thought to be cleansing—an 1886 report from the California State Board of Health called them "health-giving" and informed Californians that, after a bout of Santa Ana, "the atmosphere becomes wonderfully clear, pure, and invigorating." That report also noted an improbable sounding electricity in the Santa Ana air: During the progress of this wind the air is highly electrified.


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