June 29, 2008

History Questions

Posted in art, culture, fiction, history, mythology, non-fiction, philosophy at 7:05 am by Jerry

  • Is history an actual story (or “narrative”), or is it just seen as one?
  • And if history doesn’t, in fact, consist of any type of narrative, what can we lose and gain by revising it as one?
  • If.. history is written as a man-made narrative, a fiction, should we only have one version?
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4 Comments »

  1. Shannon said,

    Does history as a narrative have to be fiction? People interpret their own personal history, as well as their collective cultural and political histories differently depending on a variety of circumstances and worldviews. I don’t think it’s possible to have one version of any story.

  2. Jerry said,

    Hey Shannon. How’s it going over there in Boston?

    Thanks for your comment. I apologize if you’ve been waiting for a response. I haven’t been too involved with my blog as of late.

    “Does history as a narrative have to be fiction?”
    I certainly wouldn’t say that historical events are fiction. But as far as the “narrative”, I guess I would have to respond to this question with another question – If there was no one to contemplate history, would a “narrative” still exist?

  3. julia said,

    Saying history is fiction is a pretty big jump onto Mars. There is only one history, but many pointsofview of that history: histories vs herstories, oral vs written, unspoken terror vs gentle silence, spiritual (however that is defined by each individual), adult vs child, old vs young, culture A vs culture B…

  4. Jerry said,

    Julia,

    “Saying history is fiction is a pretty big jump onto Mars.”

    If you take a closer look at the above post and discussion you’ll see that history itself was never in question, only the reliability of a narrative. My challenge is to recognize the limits of a narrative’s use and power in our lives.

    Your friendly neighborhood Martian,
    Jerry


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