GEAR | Didion's Stingray

Top photo: screenshot from the film Play It as It Lays (adapted from the novel by Joan Didion), 1972. Bottom photo: Joan Didion in her 1969 yellow Corvette Stingray by Julian Wasser for LIFE, 1970.

"California belongs to Joan Didion. Not the California where everyone wears aviator sunglasses, owns a Jacuzzi and buys his clothes on Rodeo Drive. But California in the sense of the West. The old West where Manifest Destiny was an almost palpable notion that was somehow tied to the land and the climate and one's own family-an unspoken belief that was passed down to children in stories and sayings."Michiko Kakutani, from her 1979 New York Times book review Joan Didion: Staking out California.

New KISSES video for their song Huddle off their new album Kids in LA.
I was thrilled to be part of Max Wastler's Things My Father Taught Me series on All Plaid Out—luckily I was dressed for the occasion. Check it out here...and Happy Father's Day!
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ThePaintedPisces said...

Manifesting your own destiny is American, but the horrible truth is that "Manifest Destiny" was racist and a horrible way European settlers took over North America while slaughtering and enslaving natives.

Anonymous said...

Didion owns California...and those of us from Sacramento, feel we own Didion, somehow. She's our hometown hero, along with another tomboy of sorts, the pinafore-wearing design genius known as Ray (Kaiser) Eames.

Michael said...

Your flippant reference to Manifest Destiny really annoys me. It's a old, totally offensive slogan that was used to justify expansion across American continent at the expense of the near-genocide and displacement of the native American tribes that were there first. You can't just name-drop it like that.

Lizzie said...

In regards to Manifest Destiny: That is a quote by writer Michiko Kakutani, from her 1979 book review of Didion's book The White Album for the New York Times. It's my opinion that she was using the phrase not in the literal sense of displacing native peoples in the 18th and 19th centuries, but to describe an energy among people in California in the 20th century, many of them who moved west from the midwest searching out new opportunities.

That's just my take and I understand different people interpret things differently. I'm sorry if my quoting of Kakutani's use of the phrase Manifest Destiny has offended or disturbed anyone. I always appreciate your feedback.

Here is the full NYT review:

Here's the full review:

Matt said...

Agreed. The writer clearly isn't condoning the way natives were treated. Sort of beside the point though, considering they're not your words.

Anonymous said...

Would like to comment on your feature on All Plaidout - got me all misty. A typical Saturday for me and my dad involved trips to hardware stores and lumber yards in his Thunderbird listening to Willie, Waylon, Johnny. Here's to awesome dads and the awesome young women they raise. We're lucky to have them.

Anonymous said...

Love Joan Didion, love these images, and can't wait to have friends over to watch my bootleg copy of Play It As It Lays soon.

That's Not My Age said...

Great writer, great style - and great photos.