Eric Hoffer


"When he published his first book, in 1951, Eric Hoffer has been a
longshoreman for eight years and had toliled another twenty years
before that as a migratory worker. The book, an abstract and lucid
analysis of mass movements called The True Believer, was a critical success and is now considered a classic…

Hoffer always carried a notebook with him. There are 131 of them in
the archives, still creased from being  carried about in his capacious
pockets. Many people carry notebooks but Hoffer’s are unusual. He was
more disciplined than some imagine. He once said his writing was done
"in railroad yards while waiting  for a freight, in the fields while
waiting for a truck," conjuring up Jack Kerouac more than Eric Hoffer –
two very different writers. His entries, in his workingman’s hand, are
polished, with few erasures or corrections, even when written on a park
bench. His thoughts are always original, and one reads them with an
abiding sense that some new revelation may be at hand."

Eric Hoffer and the art of the notebook
HARPERS’ Magazine/July 2005

[Thanks Christine!]

[Originally posted 7.25.05]