I’m reading Blood and Thunder by Mark Finn, a biography of Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan, and I’m amazed at how many letters the young men of 100 years ago wrote to each other. (Also how important being a Texan was to the creation of Conan.)
I’m really enjoying it so far. Bob Howard was a character. A boxer, a dreamer, over shadowed by his parents and especially his mother’s health. Comparing him to the “Lost Generation” writers working in Paris at the same time, his suicide was a real loss to American letters, especially voices from the working class.
I’m also wondering how biographers of the future will know anything about us and our interpersonal communication… with our work locked up in Google Drive and Office 365, and our communication scattered between Facebook, Twitter, TikTok?, etc. all locked behind personal accounts that belong to private companies, how will anyone construct a picture of what it was like to live after the year 2000?
Biographers will need AI to sift through all the junk after paying different database companies for access.