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Didion on the notebook

So the point of my keeping a notebook has never been, nor is it now, to have an actual factual record of what I have been doing or what I have been thinking. That would be a different impulse entirely, an instinct for reality which I sometimes envy but do not possess.

I imagine, in other words, that the notebook is about other people. But of course it is not. I have no real business with what one stranger said to another at the hat-check counter in the Pavilion; in fact I suspect that the line "That's my old football number" touched not my own imagination at all, but merely some memory of something once read, probably "The Eight-Yard Run."

Nor is my concern with a woman in a dirty crepe-de-Chine wrapper in a Wilmington bar. My stake is always, of course, in the unmentioned girl in the plaid silk dress. Remember what it was like to be me: that is always the point.