1. Rachel Adrianna on October 12, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    oh lauren, i was having a crummy, UNDERgraduate day, and this (along with the therapeutic bubble wrap from my very perceptive roommate) totally made it better 🙂

  2. Pam on October 13, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Very interesting (and fun) musings!

    It is true, and can be disheartening, that history changes with the perceptions of its tellers. No matter how much I might want to find the Truth, I have to accept that I will interpret evidence based on my own experiences and assumptions even as I try to shed them (regardless of how many footnotes I have). Was it Anais Nin who said we see things not as they are but as we are?

    But at the same time I think the mutability of history gives us the wonderful ability to truly make it our own, to make it meaningful to us in a way that something more rigid and absolute (math, for instance) could never be. Perhaps that is why history has such perpetual currency–we want to understand our stories and tell them in turn.

    And, of course, it provides fodder for historiography, yay! Think of all the intertextual analysis we can do of different ages’ interpretations of the past. Boy oh boy, it is grant-application season.

    I especially loved what you said about history as it should have been. It put me in mind of a the preface of the Franciade by Pierre de Ronsard, (the French Ariosto): “History only recounts things the way they are, or were, without disguise or ornament,…the Poet contents himself with the plausible, to that which could be.”

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