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On Self-Respect

4.58  ·  Rating Details ·  133 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
“Self-respect: Its Source, Its Power" was first published in Vogue in 1961, and which was republished as “On Self-Respect” in the author’s 1968 collection, Slouching Towards Bethlehem.​ Didion wrote the essay as the magazine was going to press, to fill the space left after another writer did not produce a piece on the same subject. She wrote it not to a word count or a ...more
Essay, 2 pages
Published 1968
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Nov 18, 2015 Matthew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essays-theory
Once, in a dry season, I wrote in large letters across two pages of a notebook that innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself. Although now, some years later, I marvel that a mind on the outs with itself should have nonetheless made painstaking record of its every tremor, I recall with embarrassing clarity the flavor of those particular ashes. It was a matter of misplaced self-respect.
I had not been elected to Phi Beta Kappa. This failure could scarcely have been
Oct 10, 2007 lisa rated it it was amazing
she is creative non-fiction perfection.
Jul 09, 2016 Narin rated it it was amazing
Yes, it's an essay, not a book. No, I don't care. This is Joan Didion: personal hero, kindred spirit, and literary enigma. Her writing is so precious to me, I almost hesitate to share it. But now I have. So go read On Self-Respect yourself. In fact, go read anything she's written. You won't regret it.
May 08, 2015 Michelle marked it as to-read
I must find this book and read it, then give it to my daughter. Didion is a brilliant, accessible writer that should be read by all young girls. This should be a companion piece to Men Explain Things To Me. LMAO.
Tanya Hristova
Sep 28, 2014 Tanya Hristova rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm in awe. Every sentence is just right, every word is in its place, every thought so clear it might have been my own.

"I had somehow thought myself a kind of academic Raskolnikov, curiously exempt from the cause-effect relationships which hampered others." (This has got to be my favorite sentence. Brilliant.)

"I lost the conviction that lights would always turn green for me, the pleasant certainty that those rather passive virtues which had won me approval as a child automatically guaranteed me
Mar 05, 2016 Janet rated it it was amazing
Every time I read this essay I find more value in Didion's words. Several passages I read and reread because I know there is rare insight there but to grasp the meaning or author's intent requires careful analysis. Other passages open up immediately and I want to shout, "Yes....that's it, that is exactly how it is!".
Dan Swenson
Apr 10, 2014 Dan Swenson rated it really liked it
"To do without self-respect, on the other hand, is to be an unwilling audience of one to an interminable documentary that deals one’s failings, both real and imagined, with fresh footage spliced in for every screening."
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Joan Didion was born in California and lives in New York City. She's best known for her novels and her literary journalism.

Her novels and essays explore the disintegration of American morals and cultural chaos, where the overriding theme is individual and social fragmentation. A sense of anxiety or dread permeates much of her work.
More about Joan Didion...

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“Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.” 427 likes
“Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.” 202 likes
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