They were both graduates from Cal Berkely who fled the sunny sexism of their native California to seek fame and melancholy in New York at a pivotal time in both their and the city?s history. (There is a wonderful and delightfully gossipy profile of Didion and the pompous critic Pauline Kael with whom she had a contentious relationship written by Evan Hughes. https://theawl.com/the-cordial-enmity-of-joan-didion-and-pauline-kael-b975cd8b7ce9#.5ps74v451 Susan makes an appearance as well.)
Circuitously, I am also only a couple degrees of separation from Didion from another angle. Her husband, Gregory Dunne, was the brother of Dominick Dunne, the name-dropping chronicler of American celebrity society, remembered most prominently for his articles from the courtroom of the OJ Simpson trial, published in Vanity Fair. Dominick Dunne?s daughter, Joan Didion?s niece, was Dominique Dunne, a young actress who was murdered horribly by her boyfriend, strangled in broad daylight. Dominique had appeared with my late father-in-law, Geoffrey Lewis. Geoff had seven daughters of his own and he became very close to Dominique. He was shattered by her murder and became emotional when he spoke to me about it although it had happened decades before.
When I arrived in New York as a new resident in 1989, my trip into the city was exactly how Didion describes her own, down to search for the skyline, the appearance of the ?MIDTOWN TUNNEL? sign, and the arrival of warm summer rain. I didn?t read…
The Search for Identity: Literature of Self Discovery EN 170 01
Professor Jonathan Blake / Spring2016
15 April 2016
“Magical Thinking” to Keep Our Identity
When we lose a significant other we lose a bit of who we are. This is because our identity is shaped by the ones we spend the most time with, our family, friends and loved ones. “Who are we?” becomes incredibly hard to answer when life is viewed through a prism of loss. Visualize spending every day of your life with someone for…