Joan didion's depiction of the american west and california is colored by an idiosyncratic sensitivity to her surroundings, intertwined with a sentimental- retrogressive image of the nature, history, character, and meaning of the west as a cultural topos her new journalism-like observations of california are always closely. A passage by joan didion about california's santa ana winds from her essay “ los angeles notebook” there is something uneasy in the los angeles air this afternoon, some unnatural stillness, some tension what it means is that tonight a santa ana will begin to blow, a hot wind from the northeast whining down through. It is hard for people who have not lived in los angeles to realize how radically the santa ana figures in the local imagination the city burning is los angeles's deepest image of itself nathanael west perceived that, in the day of the locust and at the time of the 1965 watts riots what struck the imagination.
In los angeles notebook didion writes, at the time of the 1965 watts riots, what struck the imagination most indelibly were the fires the wind [that damned santa ana that blows through her novels and her essays] shows us how close to the edge we are to the edge of what what is the apocalypse and who, or what,.
In “los angeles notebook,” joan didion wrote, “i have neither heard nor read that a santa ana is due, but i know it, and almost everyone i have seen today knows it too we know it because we feel it the baby frets the maid sulks i rekindle a waning argument with the telephone company, then cut my.
In “los angeles notebook,” didion describes the city in chaos during a santa ana wind, a kind of hot spell that supposedly rewires the residents' minds and makes them temperamental through per- sonification, she renders the environment threatening: the “malevolent” wind is “whining” down through the mountain passes.
And then there's joan didion, in slouching toward bethlehem: the baby frets the maid sulks i rekindle a waning argument with the telephone company, then cut my losses and lie down, given over to whatever is in the air to live with the santa ana is to accept, consciously or unconsciously, a deeply.