". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Friday, February 15, 2008

Damning With Faint Praise

Damning with faint praise?

As another book reviewer, writer and editor says about this review (-- and maybe this may feel not so positive because all the other reviews have been lavish with praise ... ):

[ He mentions a topic and grouses afterwards without making it clear why something bothered him or even stating clearly that it did. But, worse of all, he deploys a fair amount of history in his voice without stating that you dealt with most of that history. What's worse, he fails to mention the most significant aspect of the book: that it is a masterful synthesis of a million books, articles, and documents on early NO history and has no peers as a synthesis of the history of that world. As a reviewer from NO you'd think he would at least want people to know about the world that made NO and point them to the only single volume that does that. ]

In the meantime though, the article is getting lots of hits and is being e-mailed around, we've been told. Also the editor of the book review is a -- neocon!

Is this good or bad? I don't know.


Frank Partisan said...

The good news is that any publicity is good.

Foxessa said...

The review in the NY Times Sunday Book Review this weekend, and this afternoon, NPR's Bob Edwards's interview with Vaquero about TWTMNO, with him reading from it too, is running on our local public radio station -- FM. I hardly ever have on the FM station since it is the 'culture' side, and I tend to listen to the talk shows, which is the AM side. I.e., politics and current events.

Things are working out in their own way. The book review in on the most e-mailed list of book stories, so, there ya go.

"The Bob Edwards Show" is also on satellite. In the meantime, here's the Bob Edwards Weekend site, which is radio broadcast as well. This can be downloaded as a podcast, without a fee, I believe.

This is pretty good, I think.

Love, C.

K. said...

Great interview with Bob Edwards! That's what I'm forwarding.

The Times often uses contrarian book reviewers. This guy deploys an old trick: He doesn't like the conclusions of the book but can't find much wrong with the essential arguments, so he picks at the edges as if they were significant.

Foxessa said...

One does wonder -- since the editor is a neocon, if his review got missed with?

OTOH, he's been calling and e-mailing, with offers of promo assistence, a dinner invitation, etc. for 'down there.' So ?????

The problem really is, that as published, it wasn't well written. But it's all good, in the end! So one really cannot complain. For instance how many books get into that magazine -- without paying for advertising in that magazine? That's a Big Deal! It's just like getting into the chain bookstores -- your publishers have to pay, and by now the chains have strangled themselves. Fewer and fewer titles are in those stores, and the indies, which they nearly entirely starved out of existence, are coming back. And online sales of books are booming.

Evolution bites, when it bites you.

Love, C.