Thursday, November 12, 2009

Robert Neff

This guy. Give me the chance to meet him. I have never been so enthralled with one writer's work as much as Robert Neff. He isn't the absolute best writer on the planet; that's not what is charming about his work. What I find interesting are his topics. No one else covers such a fascinating stories in such a way that seems effortless. There's no way his research is carefree. I wrote about him back in March but that post was in need of an update so here goes. Original post:
I can't get anything done this weekend because of a writer over at OhMyNews. He has written some fascinating articles covering all things Korean history-related including several pieces on the old Joseon period, a story of the sole survivor of an Italian trading ship that eventually made its way from Nagasaki to Jeju, and a thoroughly interesting article titled "An early case of foreign depravity in Asia" which has had me begging for the third and final part for months (!) come on already Neff - don't leave me hanging. Anyways, nicely done, sir.
Wouldn't you know it? I have found even more pieces of awesomeness by this guy. He cowrote a book that I'd love to get my hands on...once I can read Korean a bit better. Look don't get me wrong. I'm not one to butter up anyone. But it just so happens that a particular writer is writing subjects that I find incredibly engaging.

So with that, I give you what I can find.
I will surely write more later. Curious though as to a comment made @ Brian in Jeollanamdo - are there really two East Asian correspondents named Robert Neff? Regardless, I'd love to read a bio about the man but I can't seem to find one...

UPDATE 12/4/09: Met the man and he's a stand-up guy in every sense of the word. An inspiration for me and hopefully others. I also got a lot of my personal questions answered. A few I can share with you. For one, there are indeed two Robert Neffs as it turns out. Robert C. Neff is the Japan economist and sauna enthusiast and Robert D. Neff is the Korean historian and North Korean gold mine specialist.

Also, Neff has written a great deal more with the Korea Times and Elegance with Steven Revere but alas, I still can't find archived articles. I'm terribly disappointed because now having met the man, I sincerely hope that we can meet in a professional setting one day. Despite his understandably busy schedule he had a lot of great advice to bestow on a young aspiring runt like me.

Needless to say, his book that comes out hopefully by the end of the month will be a must-read.

5 comments:

White Rice said...

I agree. I was totally spellbound by the recent Jeju weekly series "In the Footprints of Kublai Khan." Can't wait for his next installment of that saga.

Robert said...

Thank you very much for your kind comments. When you have time - lets have a beer or a coffee. I see that you are reading about the Korean POWs. May I suggest the defectors as well? I did a piece on the last American defector to North Korea - PFC Joseph White - that can be found on Asia Times
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/IB23Dg01.html

Again - thanks for the compliments and lets get that beer.
Robert Neff

Matthew Smith said...

@ Robert - I would love to take you up on that beer! Since I can't seem to find a contact for you, please shoot me an email at matthewlynnsmith at yahoo dot com and we'll set something up. Look forward to hearing back from you

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Jeff Rasmussen said...

I absolutely love Mr. Neff's work. My great-grandfather was the owner of a couple of early western hotels in Jeong-dong, and Mr. Neff's writing has been key to my research into those areas.

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