Hemingway Never Wrote In Moleskine

There’s a sucker born every minute. One of them, unfortunately, is this said writer. I’m a sucker for exquisite packaging, meticulous attention-to-detail craft, lovely handiwork, lovely designs. The list goes on…and the purchases continue.

I’m a big fan of Moleskine notebooks. Their spine is sturdy, though the claim of it being unbreakable is a little too far off. Their paper is nice to the touch and it feels so good scribbling on it and it feels like a waste if nothing productive came out of it. It makes me want to write and draw more. These are all tangibles benefits we are aligned to.

The intangible benefits though, are what’s driving the sales. Creatives are seen using it. Art directors swear by it. Writers start their drafts on it.It brings a new wave of personality to the dull notebook. You want to be associated with brands like this. It triggers an irrational switch of action that makes us vulnerable to the tactics of marketers.

And indeed one of the most marketable claims by Moleskine is that legendary creators like Ernest Hemingway, Oscar Wilde, Pablo Picasso and the likes used them. As a brand that was established only in 1997, it certainly induce some head-scratching. Recently, theguardian published some articles on Moleskine:

This despite the fact that Hemingway and Chatwin never actually used a Moleskine. The Italian publisher Modo&Modo created the brand in 1997, so its “heritage” – the website also mentions Picasso and Van Gogh – is more myth than fact.

Moleskine didn’t exactly lay claims that those great artists used them. It does however, gave the impression that they used Moleskine. By stating the black notebook are used by them, and Moleskine is the successor to these notebooks, naturally everyone will imply that Moleskine was indeed used by them at a particular time.

I think it matters little now since the brand is so well established. They have their own merits. They don’t have to justify why their products cost so much. Their advocates and fans will.