Eric Hobsbawm

1917 (Alexandria) – 2012 (London)

MacInnes was a fellow-denizen of Soho jazz clubs, and had a famous argument with him about their significance; Bacon was another late-night companion. Hobsbawm tried unsuccessfully to take Forster to see Lenny Bruce, and spent an afternoon with Jackson at home in Chicago. Cartier-Bresson amused him by saying he found an English critic’s intellect intimidating (even if it was Berger), while Braudel, an admirer, made a point of asking him to use the familiar ‘tu.’ Hobsbawm was drawn to the university Eco set up in San Marino. Bourdieu, Thompson, Williams, Althusser and Magris were all friends.

Eric Hobsbawm knew…