This has to be short because I am supposed to be co-hosting a dinner party.
But Adrian Monck has just touched on another thing that should be in the About Me bit of blogging journalists. Books that have influenced me. Adrian’s contribution is about someone that the rest of you in this debate; Chris Anderson, Howard Owens, and Jeff Jarvis,Â may not have heard.
Richard Jeffries was an English Victorian writer, but unlike Dickens, he knew the rural scene rather than the urban scene.
Here’s a quote from Jeffries.
Behind these beautiful aspects comes the reality of human labour – hours upon hours of heat and strain; there comes the reality of a rude life, and in the end little enough of gain. The wheat is beautiful, but human life is labour.
That was written in 1884. But the issues it raises are still alive today, although little commented on by journalists or bloggers. Co-incidentally, one of my dinner guests is going on about how Karl Marx ended his life (in 1878) not two hundred yards from my house. Camden Council has put up a blue plaque to prove it.
My point is that journalists should talk about the books that influenced them. And that they should pay far more attention than they do to the recent historical events which set the context for what is happening today.