Everyone’s talking about Joan Didion’s stuff.
The late writer’s personal effects are going up for auction at Stair Galleries this month and as is usual these days, there’s a forensic unpicking of the icon’s possessions as an insight into her mind and creative genius.
As a writer she was lauded for her minimalist prose and sharp cultural observations. As a woman she was admired for her self-assured independence and also a cool aloofness. That enigmatic quality no doubt adds to the interest in her possessions; a promised glimpse of ‘the real Joan Didion’. As Rachel Tashjian observes in Harper’s Bazaar, these vignettes present the “warmest portraits ever painted of her”.
If you’re a cash-rich Joan fan, you can bid on her blank notebooks, Cartier brass desk clock, and even her Celine sunglasses. Me, I’m intrigued by her desk contents (above). Curated piles of books, tiny shells and tasteful trinket boxes imply an ordered mind and methodological process to her craft, as tastefully edited as a wardrobe of well-chosen ‘pieces’ or her infamous ‘packing list’. All the more appealing in our current, chaotic, brain-fog era.
The auction, An American Icon: Property from the Collection of Joan Didion takes place on November 16th at New York’s Stair Galleries.
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WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGE: Joan Didion’s desk
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