Joan Didion: Intimacy and the Intellectual Writer

Memories of studying Joan Didion…. #LiteraryIntimacy and so forth. Quite long but may hit for some folks in the #writingcommunity. Happy New Year!

Elizabeth Gaucher

Joan Didion died 3 days ago; I’m posting this paper out of my deep respect for her writing life, and so I can share ideas with my friend Doug Imbrogno. Anyone else who wants to share in celebrating Didion’s life and work is welcome to join us. — EDG

Advisor: Carter Sickels 
Fall 2014 
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Master of Fine Arts 
in Creative Writing Program West Virginia Wesleyan College

“Reading Joan Didion on any subject is like tiptoeing across a just-frozen pond filled with beautiful sharks. You look down and pray the ice will hold. Meeting her is not a vastly different experience.”

— Boris Kachka

The term “intimacy” triggers a cascading range of images: closeness, nakedness, engagement, connection, romance, mutuality, participation, shared revelation. Though not always an overt expectation, some degree of authorial intimacy is what readers of personal essays and creative nonfiction…

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I’m Sorry You Scare Me

It’s an honor to have some work up over at BREVITY today, thinking about the highs and lows of literary intimacy. I hope you’ll give it a read. Thank you!

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Elizabeth Gaucher Elizabeth Gaucher

For those on our email list, an unfinished version of this post went out yesterday, our fault, not the author’s! Please enjoy the full version.

A guest post from Elizabeth Gaucher:

“I think I have to apologize for something,” the message from my longtime friend read. “At first I thought I need to apologize for not reading your latest published piece, but I think I have to apologize for or admit to something deeper.”

I felt my brows rise. This was coming from one of my oldest and dearest friends, someone who is also a writer, and it felt like a warning flare. I took a deep breath and read on into the mysterious sin. She had in fact finally read my column about the writing life for an online nonfiction journal. She was really moved by it. She apologized for not reading it sooner, admitting she wasn’t…

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