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Katie van Schaijik

Hoffer the personalist

Jun. 12, 2012, at 10:01am

From a 1961 journal entry.  

Hoffer had been musing on the man he had worked with that day on the docks:

As I said, the man looked extremely delicate—almost ethereal.  He was late for work because he got the order wrong.  I am working with him tomorrow and shall try to find out something about him.

And then this:

During the day it occurred to me that if it were true that all my life I have had but a single train of thought then it must be the problem of the uniqueness of man.


Katie van Schaijik

Personal dignity and belonging

Jun. 8, 2012, at 11:21am

My internet habit seems to have decimated my ability (never very marked) to finish books.  I begin them; put them down; pick them up; read a few pages; put them down...

Among the many lying half-read around the house is Tom Bethell's biography of Eric Hoffer, The Longshoreman Philosopher.  Hoffer is a mysterious character who emerged from complete obscurity to become a major intellectual influence in Cold War America, beginning with his 1951 best-selling book on the nature of mass movements, The True Believer.

I picked it up again (I mean the biography) this morning while I drank my coffee.  These lines so arrested my attention that I put the book down again—to think, and write a post

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