Recently I was in a writing workshop where a classmate offered his take on writer Joan Didion: too white, too insulated, too rich, too elite. Since all of these are subjective observations, I would like to add my own: too talented. Novelist and essayist Didion has always had a way of getting to the heart of the matter, as she did in her 2004 memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking, which she wrote in 88 days following the death of her husband—while her daughter was also battling a case of septic pneumonia.
There is Slouching Toward Bethlehem, Play It As It Lays, Blue Nights, and many others—all which exhibit her trademark syntactical style. She has said, “To shift the structure of a sentence alters the meaning of that sentence, as definitely and inflexibly as the position of a camera alters the meaning of the object photographed…The arrangement of the words matters, and the arrangement you want can be found in the picture in your mind…The picture tells you how to arrange the words and the arrangement of the words tells you, or tells me, what’s going on in the picture.”
Director Griffin Dunne and filmmaker Susanne Rostock are currently making a documentary about Didion titled We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order to Live using the author’s own words and her own voice. The pair has organized a Kickstarter campaign to fund the film and although the goal has already been reached, visitors can still donate (and there are some interesting incentives to encourage donor participation—including book recommendations and recipes from the author herself) and read more about the project.
As a fellow Cape Codder, I have to give a shout out to singer Meghan Trainor. At only twenty-years-old, Trainor has written songs for some notable artists (Rascal Flatts, among them) and has a number one Billboard song with “All About That Bass” (you’ve probably heard it by now). The message of the song—being happy with who you are at any size—is a positive one, and is definitely the antidote to the Photoshop-trimmed images that are marketed to young girls as the physical ideal. And it has certainly spurred a lot of discussion—like this piece in The Atlantic and this one in The New York Times. What do you think?
Seven days until Halloween! If you have little ones, check out Absent Librarian’s blog for some inspiration on literary costumes for kids. Here are a few images from her site. So cute!
Aretha Franklin does not have time for that. Watch this compilation of morning show interviews that Franklin did over the last week in support for her latest album, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics.
There are a series of mishaps—poor earpieces, loud background music, gushing interviewers, and the like. And the Great Diva herself does not seem amused. Also, after that, read this Vulture piece by Rich Juzwiak on the changing tenor of Franklin’s voice that asks the question if whether Franklin’s latest album “will do for aging what “Respect” did for Civil Rights and the Women’s Movement.”
Have a wonderful weekend! xo