Aural Fixations, The Rumpus Mixtape #4: Reading Didion



Great writers wound us.

Their words cut into our bodies; their ideas become notions of ourselves. Cue Joan Didion. She stitches sentences through your brain. You emerge exhausted and charged — agreeing, disagreeing and questioning. Reading Didion invites a conjuring of her.

Wounded by her you know this:  this world is going to require more of us than we believe we can summon, then more and yet still more. Picture a day–maybe it’s your last day to live–how would you know?  Maybe it’s raining. Maybe the Santa Ana winds are blowing. We slouch, keep secrets and hide our true confessions. The world is cold comfort; the world is all there is. We are a people; we are a blot of individuals. It is all either dazzling, dizzying sun or pouring rain. There are few gentle mists in Didion’s world. For that, we are grateful. Read on.

“Tangled Up in Blue”
Bob Dylan
Blood on the Tracks

Gem Club

“All the Way From America”
Joan Armatrading
Me Myself, I

“Heights of Diamond”
Adam Haworth Stephens
We Live on Cliffs

“California Dreamin’”
The Mamas & the Papas
The Mamas & the Papas Greatest Hits

Celebrity Skin

Etta James
Etta James: Love Songs

Youth Lagoon
The Year of Hibernation

“Dear Prudence”
The Beatles
The Beatles (White Album)

“Success Has Made a Failure of Our Home”
Sinéad O’Connor
Am I Not Your Girl?

“Slouching Towards Bethlehem”
Joni Mitchell
Night Ride Home

Al Jolson
Al Jolson Fifty Favourites

“Thank You for Your Love”
Antony & the Johnsons
Thank You for Your Love – EP

Anna March’s writing appears regularly in Salon and here at the Rumpus and her work has been widely published including in The New York Times' Modern Love Column, New York Magazine, VQR, Hip Mama and Tin House. Her essay collection, Feminist Killjoy, and novel, The Diary of Suzanne Frank, are both forthcoming and she is at work on two new books. She teaches writing workshops, mentors writers, is active in promoting literary community and is the co-founder of LITFOLKS in LA and DC. She lives in Rehoboth Beach and Los Angeles. Sometimes she has pink hair. Follow her on Twitter @ANNAMARCH or learn more about her at ANNAMARCH.COM. More from this author →