Joan Didion, distinguished voice of journalism and contemporary literature, passed away

Mexico City. American writer and journalist Joan Didion, who forged a distinctive voice in contemporary literature, has died at the age of 87. He portrayed the life of Los Angeles during the 60s, observed in his reports the rebellious and misunderstood youth of the counterculture and exercised critical journalism through his travels through Latin America. Decades later, he turned the duel into a beautiful, painful, and wise autobiographical memorial.

“We tell each other stories to live,” he stated in his writings. “I write completely to find out what I am thinking, what I am looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear ”.

The news was released this morning by the newspaper The New York Times, where he reported that he died of Parkinson’s at his home in Manhattan. “She established a distinctive voice in American fiction before turning to political reporting and screenwriting. But it was in California, her home state, that provided her with the richest material, “she stated in the author’s first report.

Favorite for the Nobel

He died without receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature. In recent years his name was among the favorites for recognition by the Swedish Academy. Although she stood out as an observer in her journalistic work – she is considered a precursor of the New Journalism – she also published five novels and several essays. “The will to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect arises,” is one of his most famous quotes.

“The mythical figure of the 60s immersed in contemporary American culture and in itself with an astonishing lucidity and a concise and sophisticated prose, anchored in literary journalism and film,” said the AFP agency, which described her as “short, petite, reserved, elegant; in general, with a cigarette in his hand, with huge dark glasses or leaning against his white Corvette Stingray, as in one of his most legendary photos ”.

He was born in Sacramento, California, on December 5, 1934. He graduated from the University of California and began his career in the magazine. Vogue; collaborated for other publications such as Life, Esquire and The New York Times, among others, while she moved to California with her husband John Gregory Dunne and wrote her first novels, Run River (The river at night, 1963), on the disintegration of a family, and Play It as It Lays 1970), where the narrator travels highways at high speed, escaping from the melancholy and desolation of life.

In his house overlooking the beach, Didion received the intellectuals and celebrities of the time of Angelic effervescence. There is even the anecdote that she met young Harrison Ford, who worked for her in her house in Malibu, as a carpenter, before being the great hero of Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

It was in the troubled 1968 that he reached out to the rebellious youth in San Francisco, portrayed this new form of counterculture, and his chronicles appeared in the book. Crawl into Bethlehem. He toured Latin America, and published Savior, novel where he talks about the US death squads; He also published on politics, migration, and exile, as well as life in the United States. It is an essential voice to understand the second half of the 20th century in that country.

When asked about the ideal of style, he said: “Economy, clarity, simplicity. There is nothing more difficult than the apparent ease ”.

During the blue nights …

Decades later, he brought the duel to the surface, bravely and honestly, in his books The year of magical thinking (2005) and Blue nights (2011), about those times when “you lack a single person and the whole world is empty.” In those books, she narrates the pain she experienced due to the death of her husband due to a heart attack and a year later, that of her only daughter, Quintana Roo.

Among those reflections, the following persists: “During the blue nights, you think that the end of the day will never come. As the blue nights draw to an end and they will, and they will, you experience a real chill, an apprehension of illness, the moment you first realize it: the blue light is gone, the days already they are getting shorter, the summer is gone … Blue nights are the opposite of the extinction of brightness, but they are also a warning ”.

The documentary is available in the Netflix catalog The center does not yield, Directed by Griffin Dunne, Didion’s nephew. In the work her work as a journalist and writer, her personal character, integrity, dignity and discretion in her last years, in which she lived in New York, is disseminated.

In this work, which premiered in 2017, her small body fragility and trembling hands contrast with the strength of the stories she shares in an interview. Included are scenes from his last public appearances, including when he received the National Medal of Arts and Humanities in 2012 from then-President Barack Obama.

“There is no real way to deal with all that we lose,” Joan Didion, speeding on a Corvette, taught us in the brave fragility of life.

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Joan Didion, distinguished voice of journalism and contemporary literature, passed away