On “On Keeping a Notebook”

This Fringe Magazine article shares a title with, and quotes from one of my favorite Joan Didion essays, “On Keeping a Notebook.”

In her essay, Didion says she doesn’t keep a notebook as any kind of attempt to record the facts of her daily life or to fossilize the events of the world around her. So then, why? Why bother writing random snatches of thoughts, imagined encounters and half-remembered lines of dialogue? “Remember what it was to be me: that is always the point…our notebooks give us away, for however dutifully we record what we see around us, the common denominator of all we see is always, transparently, shamelessly, the implaceable ‘I.'”

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3 Responses to “On “On Keeping a Notebook””

  1. I think its important to leave “what” you will fill a notebook with and focus on the filling. I have so many journals and books around that I fear writing the wrong thing in – I need to work on getting past that.

    i’m trying to get past the same phobia with sketchbooks. its not good to censor yourself before even touching pen or pencil to page.

    :) take care hun

  2. […] On “On Keeping a Notebook” | Notebook Stories doesn’t keep a notebook as any kind of attempt to record the facts of her daily life or to fossilize the events of the world around her. So then, why? Why bother writing random snatches of thoughts, imagined encounters and half-remembered lines of dialogue? “Remember what it was to be me: that is always the point…our notebooks give us away, for however dutifully we record what we see around us, the common denominator of all we see is always, transparently, shamelessly, the implaceable ‘I.’” […]

  3. For John Didion, Notebook becomes a means of self-discovery.

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