The Corner

Joan Didion

OK, I’m decades late in getting round to this, but (courtesy of a diehard liberal friend in

Seattle), I’ve spent the last couple of days reading Joan Didion. It’s been a delight although she is not, it has to be said, uh, exactly conservative, but then, on the other hand there’s this (from the rather cheekily named White Album):

“There is one of those peculiar social secrets at work [on people’s response to the – then new – Getty museum] here. On the whole “the critics” subscribe to the romantic view of man’s possibilities, but “the public” does not. In the end the Getty stands above the Pacific Coast Highway as one of those odd monuments, a palpable contract between the very rich and the people who distrust them least.”

There’s something about those words that make me think about Arnold’s election.


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