Joan Didion, You Told the Stories

(CNN) Joan Didion, famed American essayist and novelist, has died.

Joan Didion has passed, one more heroine-of-writers who now can be met only in works and memory. She was really two writers in one.  Her fiction paints the mid-to-late 20th century woman, with shades of dependency somewhat distant from current ideals.

Her journalism, hard edged and supremely analytic, is a major contribution to the New Journalism. In the old days, one might have described it as masculine.  She found that the only paper she could read was the Wall Street Journal. She described her writing as a form of self analysis; she wrote to find out what she was thinking.

Perhaps,  while she was discovering while writing, she happened upon the insight of her book, White Album, which means so much to so many:

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.”

You would have to read all four volumes of Vilfredo Pareto’s The Mind and Society for equivalence in wisdom.

Thank you, Joan. You made it easy.