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830+ Quotes by Joan Didion (2024) Epic Sayings

In the world of literature, few authors possess the unparalleled ability to distill the essence of human experience into words as powerfully as Joan Didion. Her writings have consistently transcended mere storytelling, offering readers profound insights into the complexities of life, society, and the human psyche. Today, we embark on a journey through the wisdom encapsulated in "Quotes By Joan Didion," exploring the timeless relevance and enduring impact of her words. Join us as we navigate the labyrinth of her thought-provoking quotes and discover the enduring relevance of her insights.

Quotes By Joan Didion 1-OnlyCaptions

Quotes By Joan Didion (2024)

Joan Didion, the celebrated American author, is renowned for her insightful and thought-provoking writings that have left an indelible mark on literature and culture. Here are some poignant and illuminating quotes by Joan Didion that capture the essence of her profound observations and enduring wisdom:

  • "We tell ourselves stories in order to live."
  • "I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not."
  • "Grammar is a piano I play by ear."
  • "Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life — is the source from which self-respect springs."
  • "I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear."
  • "To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves — there lies the great, singular power of self-respect."
  • "Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant."
  • "I'm not telling you to make the world better, because I don't think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I'm just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment."
  • "We are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not."
  • "To have that sense of one's intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent. To lack it is to be locked within oneself, paradoxically incapable of either love or indifference."
  • "Writers are always selling somebody out."
  • "You have to pick the places you don't walk away from."
  • "I want to learn, and the only way you learn is by testing the limits. You don't learn by being a good girl."
  • "Remember what it was to be me: that is always the point."
  • "The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself."
  • "What's so hard about that first sentence is that you're stuck with it. Everything else is going to flow out of that sentence. And by the time you've laid down the first two sentences, your options are all gone."
  • "I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be."
  • "I'm not sure what I think about certain things, and I'm not sure I ever will be sure."
  • "We are imperfect mortal beings, aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves. As we were. As we are no longer. As we will one day not be at all."
  • "We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget."
  • "Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it."
  • "I know what "nothing" means, and keep on playing."
  • "All we are is our stories."
  • "I think it all comes back to self-respect. If you really do confront yourself, as a writer does (or as any thinking person does), you are in a state of constantly making ethical decisions."
  • "I am what I am, the individualist said, and it is a good place to be."
  • "There's no thrill in easy sailing when the skies are clear and blue, there's no joy in merely doing things which any one can do. But there is some satisfaction that is mighty sweet to take, when you reach a destination that you never thought you'd make."
  • "In theory momentos serve to bring back the moment. In fact they serve only to make clear how inadequately I appreciated the moment when it was here."
  • "The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs."
  • "Of course great hotels have always been social ideas, flawless mirrors to the particular societies they service."
  • "I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see, and what it means."
  • "Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power."
  • "I'm not telling you to make the world better, because I don't think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I'm just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave's a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children."
  • "I want to explain to you, and in the process perhaps to myself, why I have often seemed to be, and indeed have often been, a different sort of woman."
  • "A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image."
  • "To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves - there lies the great, singular power of self-respect."
  • "I'm not sure what I think about anybody or anything. I know what I think about them. But I'm not sure."
  • "It occurred to me, not for the first time, that character is largely about containment: how much can you contain, and how do you contain it?"
  • "All I ever wanted was a world without maps."
  • "Do not whine… Do not complain. Work harder. Spend more time alone."
  • "I know what 'nothing' means, and keep on playing."
Quotes By Joan Didion-OnlyCaptions

Also Read: Glennon Doyle Quotes

  • "To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is, a dissatisfaction with self."
  • "I closed the box and put it in a closet. There is no real way to deal with everything we lose."
  • "It's a lonely business, wandering the hallways of a midtown New York hotel looking for ice."
  • "The world changes faster than we can learn how to keep pace in it."
  • "A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his image."
  • "I'm not telling you to make the world better because I don't think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I'm just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment."
  • "Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself."
  • "A good deal of time spent consciously or unconsciously thinking about who you really want to be is a good place to start."
  • "Self-respect is not a function of size, age, or wealth."
  • "Writing is the only way I have to explain my own life to myself."
  • "I'm not telling you to make the world better, because I don't think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I'm just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it."
  • "The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions."
  • "I'm not sure what I think about certain matters, but I'm sure what I feel, and I know what I think I feel."
  • "The cure for anything is salt water — sweat, tears, or the sea."
  • "Memory fades, memory adjusts, memory conforms to what we think we remember."
  • "The world changes faster than we can learn to bear it."
  • "Time passes. Memory fades. Reality is what one does with what one remembers."
  • "We are imperfect in a thousand ways, but we always manage to be just right."
  • "It's characteristically something I do when I'm not sure what I think about a subject but I want to feel it in a physical way, I want to have to answer the question. What are the details?"
  • "A writer's notebook is the best way in the world to immortalize bad ideas."
  • "In theory, I am an antinomian. In practice, I try to avoid pointing fingers."
  • "Character—the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life—is the source from which self-respect springs."
  • "I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind's door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends."
  • "To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves—there lies the great, singular power of self-respect."
  • "Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends."
  • "I'm not sure what I think about any given thing or event until I've articulated my position in writing."
  • "Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its infinite power."
  • "The only interesting answers are those that destroy the questions."
  • "The fancy that extraneous circumstances could account for at least some of one's disasters was usually taken as a sure sign of an immature or deranged personality."
  • "Grief, when it comes, is nothing we expect it to be."
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  • "One of the mixed blessings of being twenty and twenty-one and even twenty-three is the conviction that nothing like this, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, has ever happened to anyone before."
  • "I am doing something I never do, which is think about process, think about assignments, think about deadlines."
  • "My idea of a writer: someone interested in everything."
  • "When we start deceiving ourselves into thinking not that we want something or need something, not that it is a pragmatic necessity for us to have it, but that it is a moral imperative that we have it, then is when we join the fashionable madmen."
  • "I have not been able to get this out of my mind: there are people who left Atlantic City last week with the idea that the only exciting thing that ever happened to them was a dream they had when they were fifteen years old."
  • "And I will leave you with a question. Do not answer it. The question is, 'What are you going to do with your life?'"
  • "I want to suggest, that in a place like New York, the normal or expected attitude toward insane street people is an attitude of caution or aversion."
  • "In theory, at least, there is an unconscious which we do not know and of which we are therefore incapable of taking account."
  • "A marriage is not a community of scholars."
  • "Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end."
  • "It is easy to see the beginning of things, and harder to see the ends."
  • "I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart."
  • "The cure for writer's block is insomnia."
  • "I think we are well-advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not."
  • "To have that sense of one's intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything."
  • "I'm not sure what I think about whether there's a God. I do think it's arrogant to think that He's in our image. I think religion is a matter of questions."
  • "The fancy that extraterrestrial life is by definition of a higher order than our own is one that soothes all children, and many writers."
  • "I am still committed to the idea that the ability to think for one's self depends upon one's mastery of the language."
  • "The writer is always tricking the reader into listening to the dream."
  • "The only answer is that it's both hard and easy."
  • "We are well-advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not."
  • "The way I write is who I am, or have become, yet this is a case in which I wish I had instead of words and their rhythms a cutting room, equipped with an Avid, a digital editing system on which I could touch a key and collapse the sequence of time, show you simultaneously all the frames of memory that come to me now, let you pick the takes, the marginally different expressions, the variant readings of the same lines. This is a case in which I need more than words to find the meaning. This is a case in which I need whatever it is I think or believe to be penetrable, if only for myself."
  • "I'm not telling you to make the world better, because I don't think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I'm just telling you to live in it, to look at it, to witness it. Try and get it. Seize the moment."
  • "I'm not sure what I think about God. I wonder whether God is like this, or he's like that, or he's like this or that. But if he's like that, then he can't be like this, and if he's like this, then he can't be like that, and if he's like this and that, then he can't be like this or that."
  • "I'm not telling you to make the world better, because I don't think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I'm just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave's a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that's what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it."
  • "I know why we try to keep the dead alive: we try to keep them alive in order to keep them with us. I also know that if we are to live ourselves, there comes a point at which we must relinquish the dead, let them go, keep them dead."
  • "I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise, they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind's door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends."
  • "I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart."
  • "The cure for writer's block is insomnia."
  • "I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam in everybody's head."
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Also Read: Quotes By Pema Chodron

As we bid farewell to this captivating collection of quotes, we are reminded that Joan Didion's words continue to echo through the corridors of our minds. Her unapologetic introspection, keen observations, and unflinching examination of life's intricacies challenge us to think more deeply, feel more intensely, and appreciate the nuances of our own narratives. Let "Quotes By Joan Didion" be not just a journey, but an ongoing conversation with the profound insights of a literary icon, inviting us to navigate life's complexities with wisdom and grace.

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