Joan Didion's personal belongings are sold in one of the most coveted property auctions of the year (2023)

Written byJeanne Bonner, CNN

Once, while visiting her family's home in the corner of California where she grew up, Joan Didion opened a drawer full of old things and took stock.

Joan Didion's personal belongings are sold in one of the most coveted property auctions of the year (1)

Book lovers and style connoisseurs are keen to auction personal items that once belonged to pioneering essayist Joan Didion.

Credit:stairs galleries

"A bathing suit I wore that summer when I was seventeen," she wrote in her essay On Going Home. "A rejection letter from The Nation... Three teacups, hand-decorated with cabbage roses and signed 'E.M.', my grandmother's initials."

She felt compelled to take stock because she was "paralyzed" during the visit, having found her past "in every nook, in every nook, in every closet."

Joan Didion's personal belongings are sold in one of the most coveted property auctions of the year (2)

Literary fans have shown great interest in Joan Didion's personal belongings being auctioned off

Credit:stairs galleries

(Video) Joan Didion's personal belongings are sold in one of the most popular real estate sales of the year

Now the past (in the form of furniture, works of art and books) of the legendary writer and style icon, who died last year at the age of 87, is being auctioned off and is causing a stir.the sale of goodscreated could not be bigger.

"We've never had such an interest before," said Lisa Thomas, director of the fine arts department at Stair Galleries in Hudson, New York, who oversees the auction. “She was an icon in many different settings; a literary figure, a documentarian of American culture at key points in our history, and an icon of personal style. I think that's why their reach is so wide."

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Fans of the author, who wrote such important collections of essays as Slouching Towards Bethlehem (including On Going Home) and The White Album, can bid on her silver sconces on the oak table in the library where she wrote and bid on them Collection of Hemingway. Hardcover, not to mention the wicker chair she always sat in when photographers came to take her picture.

The live auction will take place on November 16th, but online bidding has already started and Thomas says no lot has received no bids, even if it's for blank notebooks that Didion was unable to use or books, which are available in most bookstores. A series of 13 magazines have bid $2,500 at press time.

Joan Didion's personal belongings are sold in one of the most coveted property auctions of the year (4)

Many of Didion's artworks were personal gifts from the artists.

(Video) More and seriousness in Joan Didion's real estate sale

Credit:stairs galleries

"The blank notebooks have taken on a life of their own," Thomas said.

And like many books on the Didion-owned block, the notebooks will go to the winner's home with a bookplate stating they come from the "Library of Joan Didion."

Stair Galleries has held auctions of personal items belonging to the likes of Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards and artist Helen Frankenthaler, not to mention Park Avenue celebrities. But Thomas said there's a lot more enthusiasm for Didion's belongings, which belies the economy.

"The intrinsic value isn't huge, but what we're already seeing with online offerings is that things far exceed their inherent value," Thomas said. "People want an object that comes from their home, that they have touched and used and that represents them."

Items likely to fetch the highest price include artworks by Richard Diebenkorn and Edward Ruscha, which have fetched $28,000 and $11,000 in pre-auction bids so far. There are also photos of Patti Smith and Annie Liebovitz, as well as an iconic portrait of Didion posing in front of his Corvette Stingray.

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Didion, born in 1934, wrote essays, fiction and screenplays. She was the odd woman in the group of writers known by the nickname New Journalism, a movement that included Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe, and Hunter S. Thompson and distinguished itself through dedicated and courageous personal writing combined with news reporting awarded. .

Joan Didion's personal belongings are sold in one of the most coveted property auctions of the year (6)

Didion was not only a revered writer, but was also considered a style icon whose sunglasses were copied many times.

Credit:stairs galleries

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The uproar caused by the auction may reflect Didion's ties to both coasts, which surfaced in his writings. The California native, who studied at Berkeley, wrote memorable and forward-thinking about her home state. Her 1970 novel Play It As It Lays follows a Hollywood actress grappling with the monotony of modern life against a backdrop of the arid and unforgiving Mojave Desert. He also wrote about the hippies in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury and the Winds of Santa Ana.

"Didion never forgot that he was a westerner," Tracy Daugherty wrote in her 2015 biography of Didion, The Last Love Song. “In the Sacramento Valley of his childhood, rattlesnakes were common. They were an integral part of the paradise his ancestors craved.”

Joan Didion's personal belongings are sold in one of the most coveted property auctions of the year (7)

Among the items up for auction is a 19th-century California-built desk that belonged to Didion's parents.

Credit:stairs galleries

However, Didion also lived in New York for many years with her husband John Gregory Dunne and their daughter Quintana Roo and was embraced by a sophisticated and elegant city that saw her signature dresses and sunglasses as connotations of inimitable style. . In fact, the items for sale at the auction come from the New York apartment where he spent his final years.

In an essay about her time in Manhattan entitled "Goodbye to All That," she wrote, "Now when New York comes back to me, it comes to me in flashes of hallucinations," adding that she wore two perfumes when she lived in New York. and now "every little trace can short my connections for the rest of the day."

Joan Didion's personal belongings are sold in one of the most coveted property auctions of the year (8)

Groups of books from the house of Didion include several auction lots. They will be fitted with displays reading "From the Library of Joan Didion".

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Credit:stairs galleries

These geographic ties make it particularly attractive to legions of writers and readers from both places.

"I always have her books on the shelf, within reach," Tess Taylor, a poet, critic and native of California, told CNN.

Taylor,who wrote about Didion for CNN OpinionLast year, after his death, he said certain public figures have a kind of "charisma" that people want around them and their possessions.

"We feel that way about artists," Taylor said in an interview. "Everything they hold and touch is sacred."

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Taylor said her personal belongings, including auctions of old cookbooks and her favorite novels, offer "windows into a mindset, into an era." And they represent a woman that many aspiring writers have idolized, taking to her words as directions and photographic portraits as models of being. As Didion put it during a talk titled Why I Write, she did not define herself as "a 'good' or 'bad' writer, but simply as a writer, a person whose deep and passionate hours are spent on it , words to arrange pieces of paper. Paper."

Joan Didion's personal belongings are sold in one of the most coveted property auctions of the year (10)

Didion's blank notebooks have attracted a lot of interest from bidders, particularly writers seeking "the promise of the blank page," said Lisa Thomas of Stair Galleries.

Credit:stairs galleries

He was the subject of a 2017 documentary called The Center Will Not Hold, directed by his nephew, actor Griffin Dunne, whose father, author and television personality Dominick Dunne was Didion's brother-in-law.

Long before she succumbed to Parkinson's disease last December, Didion witnessed the heartbreaking deaths of her husband and daughter, and her grieving memoirs, including The Year of Magical Thinking, have become bibles for those left behind.

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Didion finally closes the drawer in this essay about the old stuff on her family's California farm that helped launch her glittering literary career.

"There is ... no solution to The Nation's rejection letters and hand-painted teacups in the 1900s," Didion wrote in On Going Home.

But there will be a solution to the IBM electric typewriter she keeps in the archives of her New York office: a lucky book lover will soon have her, and embody one of the many ways in which Joan Didion and her aura will live on. .


What is the meaning of the word didionesque? ›

Didion-esque, Didion-like, Didion-ish: the shorthand for anything insightful written by a white, female author is turning Joan Didion's perspective into a prescription and stifling literature's diversity.

Who painted the portrait in Joan Didion's house? ›

Les Johnson, Portrait of Joan Didion (1977).

What is Joan Didion's Goodbye to all that about? ›

Joan Didion's essay “Goodbye to All That” is a story about her new experiences as a young lady and an adult in New York city. The story began with her arrival to New York and continuous to the point in time where she is in her late twenties. The story covers changes in her life, a result of life choices she made.

What did Joan Didion write? ›

Other works by Didion included the short novels Play It as It Lays (1970), A Book of Common Prayer (1977), Democracy (1984), and The Last Thing He Wanted (1996; film 2020) and the essays Salvador (1983), Miami (1987), and Where I Was From (2003).

What is the meaning of شهر? ›

Noun. شهر • (şehir) city. town.

What is the meaning of miraculously sentence? ›

/mɪˈrækjələsli/ ​in a way that is completely unexpected and very lucky; as if by a miracle. They miraculously survived the plane crash. The barn has been miraculously transformed into a luxury hotel.

What is Joan Didion's purpose in writing the essay? ›

Didion's purpose is to impress upon readers the idea that the winds themselves change the way people act and react. She creates a dramatic tone in order to convey to her readers the idea that the winds are sinister and their effects inescapable. 2.

What is Joan Didion most famous work? ›

Perhaps her most famous novel, “Play It As It Lays” (1970), is set in a very different California: the Hollywood of the late '60s and early '70s, suffused with the anomie of its dissolute heroine, Maria Wyeth.

Why is Joan Didion inspiring? ›

Joan Didion inspired countless writers and readers to put pen to paper and write about the world as they see it. Her unique style, restrained yet honest, affecting yet never sentimental, is peerless. Famed for her incisive depictions of American life and personal journalism, she never wasted a word, nor a character.

What does Joan Didion say about morality? ›

“When we start deceiving ourselves into thinking not that we want something or need something … but that it is a moral imperative that we have it, then is when we join the fashionable madmen.

What is Didion's thesis How does she ultimately define self-respect? ›

Here, Didion lays to rest the idea that self-respect is a kind of spiritual panacea that takes way all of our problems. Instead, it is something we must find internally, a treaty we make with ourselves to accept who and what and where we are.

Why does Joan Didion wave her hands? ›

Joan Didion's physicality has always been an important part of her persona as a writer, and it is moving to notice, in the Netflix documentary The Center Will Not Hold, the changes to her face and body that age has wrought. Arthritis has gnarled her hands, causing her to gesture knuckle-first.

What rhetorical devices does Joan Didion use? ›

Joan Didion uses diction, imagery, tone and selection of detail to convey her view. Didion uses words such as unnatural, tension, bad, eerie, and malevolent to create a tone of mystery and ensuing danger. These words are employed to create a sense of fear in the reader and to convey the severity of the winds.

Did Joan Didion win a Pulitzer Prize? ›

In 2005, Didion won the National Book Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for The Year of Magical Thinking, a memoir of the year following the death of her husband, writer John Gregory Dunne.
Joan Didion
Literary movementNew Journalism
11 more rows

What does Joan Didion suffer from? ›

The novelist and essayist Joan Didion has died, at the age of eighty-seven, after a battle with Parkinson's disease.

What does the word Raya mean? ›

Meaning:friend; queen. Raya is a baby girl name of mixed origins. Meaning “friend” in Hebrew, the name Raya can symbolize a beautiful bond between you and your new baby girl.

What is the English meaning of Baal? ›

any false god or idol. Collins English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers. Word origin. from Hebrew bá'al lord, master.

What does RAÏ mean in Arabic? ›

From French raï, from Algerian Arabic راي‎ (rāy, “opinion”), from Arabic رَأْي‎ (raʾy, “opinion”).

What is the real meaning of miracle? ›

miracle, extraordinary and astonishing happening that is attributed to the presence and action of an ultimate or divine power.

Is miraculous a positive word? ›

If you describe a good event as miraculous, you mean that it is very surprising and unexpected.

What is the root word of miraculous? ›

The adjective miraculous has origins in the Latin word miraculum, meaning "object of wonder." It's often used to describe religious happenings, such as a direct answer to one's prayer.

Who is Didion's target audience in her essay in bed? ›

When writing her personal essay “In Bed”, author Joan Didion intended it for an audience very familiar with migraines, however, it has the potential to be written for an audience of people just beginning to experience migraines.

What is the main purpose of the essay What is the purpose of the author in writing the essay? ›

The purpose of an essay is to present a coherent argument in response to a stimulus or question, and to persuade the reader that your position is credible (i.e. believable and reasonable).

What do you think is the purpose of the writer in his essay? ›

An author's purpose may be to amuse the reader, to persuade the reader, to inform the reader, or to satirize a condition. An author writes with one of four general purposes in mind: 1. To relate a story or to recount events, an author uses narrative writing.

What kind of car did Joan Didion Drive? ›

Joan Didion's Stingray Was the Perfect Symbol For a Country Barreling Toward Crisis. Didion died on December 23 at the age of 87. It's an image that's burned into our cultural memory: Joan Didion, perched aloofly behind the wheel of her 1969 Corvette Stingray, a cigarette dangling from her fingers.

Why does Joan Didion keep a notebook? ›

Why do I keep a notebook at all? It is easy to deceive oneself on all those scores. The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself.

What is Joan Didion's style? ›

She was a master of argument through style; she rarely built out a formal thesis and supporting points, but would instead put her ideas across through a series of anecdotes, so carefully observed and beautifully rendered that the argument seemed to emerge from the negative space created by what Didion didn't actually ...

What is the quote character Joan Didion? ›

“Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.”

What according to Didion is the cost of living without self-respect? ›

To live without self-respect is to lie awake some night, beyond the reach of warm milk, phenobarbital, and the sleeping hand on the coverlet, counting up the sins of commission and omission, the trusts betrayed, the promises subtly broken, the gifts irrevocably wasted through sloth or cowardice or carelessness.

What is the message of the moral? ›

moral noun (MESSAGE)

The moral of a story, event, or experience is the message that you understand from it about how you should or should not behave: And the moral of the story is that honesty is always the best policy.

What does Didion mean by the phrase the shallowness of sanity? ›

Didion speaks of the unspeakable; the “shallowness of sanity.” She references that moment when we recognize we may be losing our grip on all that we know to be “normal.” The balance we keep with what we consider our sanity is, Didion recognized, at best, tenuous.

What is the main idea of the essay reflected in the thesis statement? ›

The thesis sentence is the main assertion of an essay. Your thesis should tell your reader the main point or idea of your paper. A good thesis will be clearly identifiable within the paper and will be narrow, purposeful, and specific.

What is self-respect by Didion summary? ›

In “On Self-Respect” Joan Didion explores qualities that contribute to, as well as inhibit developing self-respect, primarily how it has everything to do with how we feel about ourselves, and nothing to do with how others see us.

What is Didion's definition of self-respect? ›

Didion defines self respect in a number of ways, but my former definition most coherently aligned with one. As Didion and I both see it, self respect, is the power of possessing “a sense of one's intrinsic worth” — a possession that once attained, can define the intrinsic and extrinsic wisdoms that one may come to.

Why does Didion say that her inability to deal with ideas helps her to become a writer How is writing a way of finding out more about our surroundings and lives? ›

Because of her "inability to deal with ideas" (92), Didion is focused on the concrete details of her surroundings, and so uses writing as a tool to observe and to ask questions.

Why is Didion Vegas wedding absurd? ›

Didion ridicules the modern rituals and how unattainable they are. Joan Didion suggests that because it is so impossible to plan a perfect wedding today, that couples are turning to Las Vegas weddings in order to escape what they see as inevitable failure of planning a wedding.

What is the tone of on self respect by Joan Didion? ›

The tone indicates that one can criticize themselves while still respecting themselves. The quote also indicates the Didion has matured a lot since her rejection, and therefore likely has some important wisdom to share on the subject.

What type of rhetorical device is used in the following example from I Have a Dream It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity? ›

Metaphor. We're not talking about "the cloud was a ball of cotton candy." We're talking hard-hitting metaphors that aren't just about making comparisons but about stirring emotions. Example: [The Emancipation Proclamation] came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

What are rhetorical strategies? ›

Rhetorical strategies, or devices as they are generally called, are words or word phrases that are used to convey meaning, provoke a response from a listener or reader and to persuade during communication. Rhetorical strategies can be used in writing, in conversation or if you are planning a speech .

What is the most prestigious Pulitzer Prize? ›

The Public Service prize was one of the original Pulitzers, established in 1917, but no award was given that year. It is the only prize in the program that awards a gold medal and is the most prestigious one for a newspaper to win.

Why is Joan Didion so good? ›

Joan Didion inspired countless writers and readers to put pen to paper and write about the world as they see it. Her unique style, restrained yet honest, affecting yet never sentimental, is peerless. Famed for her incisive depictions of American life and personal journalism, she never wasted a word, nor a character.

Who is the youngest person to win a Pulitzer Prize? ›

At the age of 23, Crosby was the youngest person to ever receive a Pulitzer Prize, and since Stephanie Welsh's 1996 win at age 22, she became the second youngest. Crosby shortly left the Macon Telegraph, returning to graduate school to work on her Master of Business Administration at the University of Florida.

What does the word Sodom? ›

: a place notorious for vice or corruption.

What's the meaning of Dembele? ›

West African (mainly Mali; Dembélé): from the name of the Dembélé clan of the Mandinka people of unexplained etymology. Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022.

Which is the correct definition for the word omens? ›

/ˈəʊ.mən/ something that is considered to be a sign of how a future event will take place: The team's final victory of the season is a good omen for the playoffs, which start next week. a bad omen. Many people believe that a broken mirror is an omen of bad luck.

What is the meaning of Cataris? ›

plural catharses kə-ˈthär-ˌsēz. : purification or purgation of the emotions (such as pity and fear) primarily through art. : a purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension. : elimination of a complex by bringing it to consciousness and affording it expression. 3.

What does Sodomising a man mean? ›

or sodomise (ˈsɒdəˌmaɪz ) verb. (transitive) to be the active partner in anal intercourse. Collins English Dictionary.

What did Jesus say about Sodom? ›

Luke 10:11–12) Jesus says: And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgement, than for that city.

What does Gomorrah mean in Hebrew? ›

(biblical, quranic) A city in the Middle East which, according to the Hebrew Bible and to Islamic tradition, was destroyed by God (along with Sodom) for the sins of its inhabitants.

What is the opposite of omens? ›

A direct antonym for the word 'omen' doesn't exist. Since an 'omen' is a sign of something to come, the opposite of 'omen' could be described as something that occurred without warning, or the absence of an indicator.

Is omen a warning? ›

An omen is an event or happening that you take as sign of something to come. It's believed to be a bad omen if a black cat crosses your path or if it rains on your wedding day. Omens generally get a bad rap — that's probably because a lot of them predict bad stuff, at least according to superstition.

Is omen positive or negative? ›

A: An “omen” has always been neutral—it can be good news or bad—but something that's “ominous” is a bummer.

Is catharsis a good thing? ›

Catharsis allows you to express anger as aggressively as you wish to maintain your psychological health. However, the scientific society believes it often justifies overreacting and hurts our psychological health.

Is catharsis painful? ›

Catharsis in the context of healing rituals, psychotherapy and narratives often involves the (re-)experience of pain. Ideally, catharsis in these three domains is a medical homoeopathic discharge and 'Aufhebung ' of negative emotions, experiences or 'personal aspects'.

What does paintless mean? ›

Adjective. paintless (not comparable) Without paint; unpainted, or whose paint has worn off.


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