Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Joan Didion documentary on Netflix: THE CENTER WILL NOT HOLD






Joan Didion chronicled much of American life from the sixties till fairly recently. She wrote novels and two memoirs: both about the deaths of the two people in this picture. Her nephew Griffin Dunne, attempts to capture her life and work in this documentary. And although she fully cooperated with  him, she remains something of an enigma at the end. A life as rich and full as her is difficult to put on film. Their are so many avenues to explore and only so much time. But this was a mostly successful attempt. Certainly the biographical ticks are covered. If there is a hole, it would be in not having a literary critic sum up her contribution to the modern essay and literature itself more fully. Why are SLOUCHING TOWARD BETHLEHEM and THE WHITE ALBUM still revered? What is it about her writing that enthralls most literary students?

In this photo, she is the onlooker. I think that sums her up fairly well. Highly recommended.

6 comments:

George said...

Joan Didion wrote "news that stayed news." I'll be watching THE CENTER WILL NOT HOLD as soon as I get back from San Antonio.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

That's on our list too. She has always been "the observer" in all her books.

Have a great time, George!

Charles Gramlich said...

it's a shame I haven't read her work yet

Steve Oerkfitz said...
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Steve Oerkfitz said...

You were right. That's not me above.
Nice meeting you today.

pattinase (abbott) said...

And nice meeting you. We will do it again soon. Or go to a movie!