Below is the second excerpt from my interview with Joan Didion. She was in a hotel in Washington; I was in Toronto. The entire interview will be posted on The Believer website in a few weeks, while further excerpts will posted here. Previous excerpt. - Sheila Heti
BLVR: You have a line in The White Album whereyou say, “I came into adult life equipped with an essentially romantic ethic, believing that salvation lay in extreme and doomed commitments.”
BLVR: I wonder if you consider marriage or motherhood, or even writing—
JD: I did consider marriage and motherhood extreme and doomed commitments. Not out of any experience of them as such, but it was simply the way I looked at things.
BLVR: And having experienced motherhood and marriage, do you still see them as extreme and doomed commitments?
JD: No, I don’t. I mean, not—I don’t. I see them as, well, certainly they were for me a kind of salvation.
BLVR: Salvation from what?
JD: From a loneliness, an aloneness.
BLVR: Because the relationship was so intimate, or just the fact of a marriage?
JD: Just having another person, answering to another person, was very—it was novel to me, and it turned out to be [sly smile audible] kind of great.