Another one of Clairefontaine’s famous fans: Julia Child, who used the notebooks for recipes and notes when she was living in Paris and studying at Le Cordon Bleu.
So we were honored when the producers of Julie & Julia, a new movie about her life (and the attempt, decades later, of blogger Julie Powell to make each of the 524 recipes in Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking), got in touch with us. There’s been a lot of talkonline about the film — guess that’s what happens when you make a movie about a blogger. At any rate, the film’s prop master was interested in finding period-appropriate notebooks for star Meryl Streep to use, so our archivists dug some up and sent them over.
Unfortunately, we don’t know which ones they actually used, but you can spot one briefly at minute 1:10 of the preview. Still, any excuse to see Meryl Streep, right? Who, incidentally, is herself a fan of Exaclair. She used G. Lalo Verge pads as props in The Devil Wears Prada, and will be using a Quo Vadis Minister (Habana cover) and Rhodia pads in an upcoming, as-yet-untitled romantic comedy.
For whatever it’s worth, my “drugs” of choice these days are great little French bound notebooks with lined graph paper (see www.clairefontaine.com) and omniBall rollerball pens. For special occasions, like book signings, I’ve got two Waterman pens—a black fountain pen and a red rollerball.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of Clairefontaine, the French company that makes the paper for Quo Vadis planners and notebooks. (If that sounds like a long time, consider the fact that a nearby monastery in the town of Étival-Clairefontaine made vellum and paper before that, in the middle ages.)
The photograph above, taken at a recent event in France, is of Christine Nusse, the great-granddaughter of Clairefontaine founder Jean-Baptiste Bichelberger. Here’s to 150 more years!
In a recent “Talk of the Town,” playwright David Mamet revealed his dedication to Clairefontaine notebooks—and longhand composition: “I hate the computer… I hate their spell-check. I won’t ever do e-mail.”
(He does sometimes use a typewriter.)
“I’m afraid of only two things,” Mamet said, “Being lazy and being cowardly. I get up early in the morning and go to work.”