Yorick Blumenfeld obituary


My good friend Yorick Blumenfeld, who has died aged 91, was a prolific author and futurologist with greater than 25 books and a pair of,000 articles to his title.

Within the early Nineteen Sixties, on the peak of the chilly warfare and frightened by the chance of nuclear annihilation, Yorick and his spouse, Helaine, travelled to the South Pacific with a gaggle of mates and based Philia, a global group close to Nelson, New Zealand.

“I used to be very involved … notably when the Cuban missile disaster happened, about our possibilities of survival,” he mentioned. “That led me to assume that I wish to go to a spot resembling New Zealand which I believed might need a superb likelihood of escaping a nuclear assault and fallout all over the world.”

Though the group didn’t final, Yorick’s experiences there impressed his novel Jenny, My Diary (1981), which topped the British bestseller listing for eight weeks and was translated into 32 languages.

Yorick’s later profession was marked by his engagement with imagining the longer term. 2099: A Eutopia (1999) offered a imaginative and prescient of a techno-future formed by cooperative and non-violent beliefs, mediated by mechanical intelligence.

He was an advocate for a post-capitalist society, and his 2004 ebook {Dollars} or Democracy argued for a technology-driven, democratic various to capitalism, emphasising cooperation and ecological sustainability.

Born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Yorick was the youngest of the three kids of Lena (nee Citroen) and the German photographer Erwin Blumenfeld. Yorick grew up in France earlier than fleeing from the Nazis to New York along with his mother and father, brother, Henry, and sister, Lisette, in 1941.

When Yorick arrived within the US, he didn’t converse a phrase of English. After Columbia grammar and preparatory faculty, he was admitted to Harvard College to review English literature and Russian and subsequently made a profession of writing in English. His senior thesis argued that censorship fuelled world creativity, a theme that might underpin his future works.

After postgraduate examine on the London Faculty of Economics, he moved to Washington DC to take up a publish as an editorial analysis reporter at Congressional Quarterly. In 1962 he married Helaine Becker, whom he had met in a New York bookshop; she went on to grow to be a sculptor.

After the top of the Philia group, he was taken on as a journalist after an opportunity assembly with Philip Graham, proprietor of the Washington Submit, which additionally revealed Newsweek. Yorick began as a cultural correspondent based mostly in Paris, and in 1965 opened the primary jap European bureau for the journal. See Noticed: Cultural Life in Japanese Europe (1968) chronicled his experiences and he shifted his focus in the direction of writing books.

In 1969 he and Helaine settled within the UK, residing in Grantchester, close to Cambridge, Their house was filled with laughter and pleasure they usually have been identified for holding nice events, internet hosting the widest combine of individuals, of outdated mates and new.

He’s survived by Helaine, their sons Remy and Jared, and two grandchildren, Marcus and Anya, and his brother, Henry.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here