Joan Didion, Elena McMahon, and Clairefontaine

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I was reading Joan Didion’s 1996 novel, The Last Thing He Wanted, the other day (not as good as Play It As It Lays or A Book of Common Prayer, but still gripping), when I came across the following passage:

Dream, the notebook entry is headed, all in caps. The notebook, a spiral-bound Clairefontaine with a red cover and pale-gray three-eight-inch graph paper inside, was one kept by Elena Janklow during the months in 1981 and 1982 immediately before she left the house on the Pacific Coast Highway and once again became (at least for a while, provisionally) Elena McMahon.

seem to have had an operation,Elena Janklow’s account of the dream begins. Her handwriting, all but the last entries made in the same black fine-point pen.

Oh, and speaking of dreams, thanks to Diane Fennel for letting us know that Carl Jung’s Red Book recently arrived in New York City! You can see it at the Rubin Museum on 17th Street until January 25.

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