Your Early 20s, Joan Didion's "On Self-Respect," and Social Media Culture: Background information when reading Let's Not Do That Again

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Let's Not Do That Again

A Novel

by Grant Ginder

Let's Not Do That Again by Grant Ginder X
Let's Not Do That Again by Grant Ginder
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2022, 352 pages

    Apr 11, 2023, 352 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Lisa Ahima
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About this Book

Your Early 20s, Joan Didion's "On Self-Respect," and Social Media Culture

This article relates to Let's Not Do That Again

For a moment, I can pretend I am a professor, like Joan Didion-obsessed NYU English professor Nick Harrison in Grant Ginder's Let's Not Do That Again, as he discusses her 1961 essay "On Self-Respect" with his undergraduate class. For a moment, I can pretend that in the high evening before one of my part-time jobs, I am not 23, sitting in my parent's home, looking at teenage social media stars on Instagram buying a new mansion like it's a Barbie playhouse. I am not measuring my worth by who deems me worthy. I adopt Joan Didion's understanding of "self-respect," and by extension, confidence and self-ownership. With that being said, let's sit down and talk about what Didion meant in "On Self-Respect" and what it means in the context of modern early adulthood.*

The beginning of "On Self-Respect" recounts Joan Didion's previous meditations on the correlation between growing up and what her older self names "misplaced self-respect." She opens the essay by saying, "Once, in a dry season, ...

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