Day 4: Self-indulgent (by way of notebook)
This, of course, is a classic. When being introduced to Didion for the first time in my class on the essay, we started with the Preface to Slouching Towards Bethlehem and none other than “On Keeping a Notebook.” Apparently, this seems to be an academic ritual of sorts, a common practice: a friend of mine, who teaches creative writing at a university, mentioned that he always starts his class with...
Day 3: sentenced.
Take a moment and try to remember: you’re a kid in grade school, and your teacher starts to talk about writing. There’s no doubt that she started you, first and foremost, with the sentence. I can hear the echoes in my head: “A sentence is a complete thought.” It’s easy how, as adults, we writers can forget that. Personally, I have to admit, I’m a huge fan of the sentence fragment. I realize that...
Day 2: Hinging on a fine example of self-respect
Last night, I read Didion’s essay “On Self-Respect,” a piece that she originally wrote for Vogue and later included in her collection Slouching Towards Bethlehem. Though this is a shorter piece, one shouldn’t assume that it’s any less potent — or that it was any easier to write. In fact, it strikes me as more difficult, especially due to the fact that Didion is grappling with a pretty big idea....