Sophie Haigney, writing for ‘The Paris Review’ (17th Nov 2022) about the artefacts being auctioned in the US at the Joan Didion estate sale….
Then there were the three lots of blank notebooks, tied with twine. They went for $9,000, $11,000, and $11,000 each. They were empty, some still wrapped in plastic, yet they were totally talismanic. I wondered: Would you write in these notebooks, having paid that price? Perhaps that’s the whole appeal—to write in a blank space that Didion might once have intended to use herself. Maybe the buyer had a hidden wish that somehow her intent might infiltrate their own work—that in owning these notebooks they might crack some secret code to making sentences like hers. There are sillier superstitions. But more likely, I think, you would have paid too much for these notebooks to ever touch them, and they would sit in a drawer or on a desk, unused and empty, just as they sat on hers.