Didion, Joan. “Slouching Towards Bethlehem”. Saturday Evening Post, 9/23/1967, Vol. 240 Issue 19, p25-94, 14p, 10 Color Photographs

One thing I’ve always wanted to own or receive as a gift is the 23 Sept 1967 issue of Saturday Evening Post, so’s to hold in my hands the thing where Didion’s (for me) seminal essay was first printed. I imagine it’s on eBay somewhere, but I never took the time or find or bid on it. Last week, though, I went on a kind of hunt for uncollected 60s/70s Didiona, and in trying to figure out where in my library to go to I emailed my department’s research librarian. Her name is Jennifer McClure and if this world were just and true she’d make what Saban makes.

There’s this thing on our libraries’ homepage called Scout, which is meant to be the sort of user-friendly interface that scours everything to give students what they’re looking for. It’s been my experience, though, that you find lots of stuff you don’t want and little of what you do. Scout is good for people who don’t know what they want. The classic catalog is for those of us needing quick call numbers. But Jennifer pointed me to Scout and how searchable it is by date and author name, and within a few clicks I had a full scan of “Slouching” from the pages of SEP.

For me this is amazing. I don’t want to violate any copyright business so I’ll just post here the cover to the 9/23/67 SEP (a far cry from Normal Rockwell) and one half of the title page spread from Didion’s piece.

Sometimes I wish this was the way anthologies reprinted work. I know this is foolish. I read eBooks happily. Books are not their packaging. But still: give me magazine spreads with 10 Color Photographs.

One thought on “Didion, Joan. “Slouching Towards Bethlehem”. Saturday Evening Post, 9/23/1967, Vol. 240 Issue 19, p25-94, 14p, 10 Color Photographs”

  1. Actually, there are many publishers putting out collections of stories from comic books, taken directly from the pages, just as they were published. Also, there are many short story collections published that include the original illustrations from the magazines the stories were first published in (I own a complete Sherlock Holmes with it’s original drawings). I don’t see why you couldn’t do that with short stories and essays that were originally published with photos. Digital technology, scans with high quality, byte by byte reproduction, and the ability to clean up and remove ink splotches and other detritus, is such today, that it would be very easy to do as you suggest.

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