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What I've always liked about "Goodbye to All That" is that it's the inverse of the standard East Coast writer L.A. essay, the one Steve Martin mocked in "Hissy Fit." In Didion's world in the essay, New York is this almost mythical wonderland, and when she decides she wants some normalcy, she ends up back in California. (Of course, now she's back in New York again after writing a book de-mythologizing California, so who knows).

I have to say that the setup looks like any number of bad 1980s television series. Does "Otherworld" ring a bell?

Ed - I thought it was kinda cool, but maybe I'd been worn down by canvas backdrops in lecture halls.

Snow - what I've always loved about that story was that it showed a person falling out of love with a city, which I hadn't realized I'd been going through until I read Didion going though it. I was actually a bit disappointed when she said at UCLA that her ennui was professional jealousy -- I mean I get it, but so it's much smaller than what I'd read into it.

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