Democracy Essay

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In the following review, Edwards favorably assesses Democracy and how Didion articulates its theme of "the devastating personal and public consequences of the loss of history. "

Joan Didion is one of those writers-Norman Mailer, Mary McCarthy, and Gore Vidal are others-who are so good at the higher journalism that their status as novelists may sometimes seem insecure. Do they, we may wonder, keep writing fiction out of professional pride, as if only the novel could truly certify their literary talent and seriousness? Are not their novels, however fine, shadowed by a suspicion, however baseless, that the form is not quite the best form for such powers?

Certainly Democracy, Didion's new novel, opens with an ominously awkward display of self-consciousness about the basic moves of fictional narrative:

The light at dawn during those Pacific tests was something to see
Something to behold
Something that could almost make you...

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This section contains 2,543 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Democracy Study Guide
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Democracy from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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