Yesterday I finished reading The Year of Magical Thinking and as much as her writing is lovely and easily drank in large gulps, I was happy to finish this read. I think maybe that was an effect Didion was going for– the ending is not happy, or particularly hopeful, which is correct. As a person who has experienced substantial grief in my short life, I respect the way this book ends; however, it is not for the faint of heart, for sure.
Of course reading something like this can be triggering, and so working through those parts of the reading experience were part of my take away from this book as well. Anyway, I guess, if you have trauma you are working through I would maybe not read this straight away.
I loved it– it’s a 5/5 and a book that anyone can gain some insight from. I highly recommend if you run across this as I did for a dollar at a book fair, just buy it– you’ll probably read it since she is mesmerizing! I think part of me had resisted reading this since I knew it would be a little painful.
Anyway, as continued from my last post comparing Didion and Sacks– now they both are referencing Freud and the fallibility of memory. Sacks launches into his own flawed memory of a bomb going off in his yard– though he comes to find he had not actually been home when it happened, despite his very real memory of such. And as I put down Sacks to finish Magical Thinking, she closes with the acceptance that as time goes on John will fade, and the edges are already blurred– and so on.
I will be carrying Didion into my reading of Sacks– I’m about a hundred pages from the close of The River of Consciousness and will write only one more time about these silly comparisons– it’s almost over, I promise!
Total page count to date: 631
3 comments on “Done with Didion; Still sitting with Sacks”
Please don’t stop writing about these comparisons. They’re not silly! It’s always so powerful to read two writers in conversation with each other and with us, the readers.
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What Nadia said. How often do we have an opportunity to know what runs through another reader’s mind while reading a book, or in this case, two books?
The fallibility of memory appears in FAILURE, one of the books I’m reading now. It’s something that artists explore, so maybe reading Sacks and Didion will show up in your artwork.
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Oh The Year of Magical Thinking. I’ve read it, too. Quite a long time ago now. And every time I see it in a bookstore I want to go pick it up and page through because it’s one of the best book I’ve ever read. Will ever read. But I always stop before I do. Because do I really want to revisit all this again? Right at this moment? So far my answer has always been, not really.