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Joan Diddion Essay

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Below is an essay on "Joan Diddion" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

This   is a story about love and death in the golden land, and begins with the country.   The San Bernardino Valley lies  

only an houreast of Los Angeles by way of the San Bernardino Freeway but is in certain ways an alien place:   not the coastal   the California ofsubtropical twilights and the soft westerlies off the Pacific but a harsher California, haunted by the Mohave just beyond the mountains, devastated by the hot dry Santa Ana wind that comes down through the passes at 100 miles an hour and whines through the Eucalypts windbreaks and works on the nerves.   October is the bad month for the wind, the month when breathing is difficult and the hills blaze up spontaneously. There has been no rain since April.   Every voice seems a scream.   It is the season of suicide and divorce and prickly dread, wherever the wind blows.

            The Mormons settled this ominous country, and then they abandoned it but by the time they left the first orange tree had been planted and for the next hundred years the San Bernardino Valley would draw a kind of people who imagined they might live among the talismanic fruit and prosper in die dry air, people who brought with them Mid-western ways of building and cooking and praying and who tried to graft those ways upon the land.   The graft took incurious ways.   This is the California where it is possible to live and die without ever eating an artichoke, without ever meeting a Catholic or a Jew.   This is the California where it is easy to Dial-A-Devotion, but hard to buy a book.   This is the country in which a belief in the literal interpretation of Genesis has slipped imperceptibly into a belief in the literal interpretation of Double Indemnity, the country of the teased hair and the Capris and the girls for whom all life's promise comes down to a waltz-length white wedding dress and the birth of a Kimberly or a Sherry or a Debbi and a Tijuana divorce and return to hairdressers' school.   “We were just crazy kids” they say...

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