Vintage Didion

Joan Didion

A nice sampler of Didion’s work. I love the Salvador and Miami portions — both places I’ve lived or worked — in particular.
Try this for incisive writing:
“The photograph accompany that last caption shows a body with no eyes, because the vultures got to it before the photographer did. There is a special kind of practical information that the visitor to El Salvador acquires immediately, the way visitors to other places acquire information about the currency rates, the hours for the museums. In El Salvador, one learns that vultures go first for the soft tissue, for the eyes, the exposed genetalia, the open mouth. One learns that an open mouth can be used to make a specific point, can be stuffed with something emblematic; stuffed, say, with a penis, or, if the point has to do with land title, stuffed with some of the dirt in question. One learns that hair deteriorates less rapidly than flesh, and that a skull surrounded by a perfect corona of hair is a not uncommon sight in the body dumps.”

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