Slouching Towards Bethlehem Essay

Slouching Towards Bethlehem Essay-88
“When I Fall in Love It Will Be Foreve,” the organist plays, and then a few bars of Lohengrin.

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brings together twenty of Didion’s essays, mostly articles that were originally written for magazines between 19.

It’s a perceptive, erudite collection, piercing in its ability to capture a certain time and cultural mood, reflective in its observations on the social context of the day.

One element that runs through several of the pieces, irrespective of their central theme, is a palpable sense of place – nicely illustrated by this passage from the opening paragraph of the first essay in the collection, The San Bernardino Valley lies only an hour east of Los Angeles by the San Bernardino Freeway but is in certain ways an alien place: not the coastal California of the subtropical twilights and the soft westerlies off the Pacific but a harsher California, haunted by the Mojave just beyond the mountains, devastated by the hot dry Santa Ana wind that comes down through the passes at 100 miles an hour and whines through the eucalyptus windbreaks and works on the nerves. 3) is an account of love and death in the golden land, the story of a marriage that has broken down, a woman who was tried for murder and judged for perhaps wanting too much from life.

It’s a haunting piece, underscored with a sense of the dissolution of the American Dream.

And yet the Las Vegas wedding businss seems to appeal to precisely that impuls.

“Sincere and Dignified Since 1954,” one wedding chapel advertises.

The hostess declines with a professional smile; she has already transferred her interest to the group waiting oustide.

One bride out, another in, and again the sign goes up on the chapel door: “One moment please–Wedding.” I sat next to one such wedding party in a Strip restaurant the last time I was in Las Vegas.

posted by Caroline Picard To be married in Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada, a bride must swear that she is eighteen or has parental permission and a bridegroom that he is twenty-one or has parental permission. The State of Nevada, alone among these United States, demands neither a premarital blood test nor a waiting period before or after the issuance of a marriage license.

The Clark County Courthouse issues marriage licenses at any time of the day or night except between noon and one in the afternoon, between eight and nine in the evening, and between four and five in the morning.) Nothing else is required.


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