". . . 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

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Monumental Discourse - Space and Direction

Vol II and Vol III of the 3 volume The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, edited, with notes by Leslie S. Klinger waited for me at the library yesterday. They are enormous. My back has taken a beating since going to the Met last Friday, and doing several other difficult for the back but essential tasks this week, so carrying home books that weigh about five pounds each was not in the cards. Vaquero kindly went with me to do the carrying home amd was rewarded by running into The Mind of Egypt: History and Meaning in the Time of the Pharaohs. He checked it out on his own card for a change. Usually when I go to the library I look for works that might interest or be of use to him particularly, or I order works that I know he/we should be reading for our research.

This seemed to take hours and hours -- that's one of the reasons this weather is so much of the big suck (though at the moment, today, it's almost 50 degrees, while it hardly got above freezing yesterday). He took the books and went home by subway because everything was taking so long and he wanted to get home as soon as possible so we could finally get to work. I chose to walk, as part of good health habits -- and I got home before he did. Ha!

With my bean bag 'lapdesk' (the books are too heavy to hold -- though they are most handsomely produced) I will be able to finally read A Study in Scarlet, which I've only done once, about thousand years ago, before I knew anything about the early Mormons and their history. I can recall the circumstances of reading A Study in Scarlet, and how it puzzled me. I was in high school. It was a summer Sunday afternoon, in my room. I'm currently continuing through the very many -- thank goodness! -- Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes dvds. I've got two more to go in the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and all of the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. It's going to be fun to compare and contrast, as the episodes seem to follow the stories carefully, but I don't really know, not having been that great a fan of Holmes. Jeremy Brett seems to have changed that.

Vaquero is delighted with The Mind of Egypt: History and Meaning in the Time of the Pharaohs by Jan Assman. He tucked up happily with the book for much of the late afternoon and evening yesterday, chortling madly over the inscriptions of self-praise inscribed on monuments and tombs. He's hearing them as rappers heaping compliments upon themselves as the biggest and the greatest and richest and most dangerous mofos ever.

He's also loving the curse poems against grave robbers.And the descriptions of how ordinary tomb-pyramid monuments are aligned along the Nile directions of upper and lower, while the non-tomb pyramids, or those of the god-pharaohs are about otherworldly space and are aligned along the 4 cardinal directions.

The author is very highly respected and a marvelous thinker, according to my personal Ancient Egypt specialist, so that also delights Vaquero.

An excellent book for reading aloud. Only one problem, and guess what it is?

As per usual with books about matters of ancient Egypt nothing is considered within the context that Egypt is in Africa. Nothing.

This book isn't anywhere near as accidental as I made it appear. This book's discussion about the New Kingdom is perfect for expansion of what we thought about and discussed in context of our visit to the "Beyond Babylon" exhibit at the Met a week ago Friday.


K. said...

Drop by Citizen K. later today and pickup your Premio Dardas award!

I read and reread Sherlock Holmes in junior high and high school. The inside lining of my father's edition was simulated Victorian wall paper with the "patriotic V" of bullet holes in one corner and a cameo of Holmes in the other. I just put "A Study In Scarlet" into my reading queue.

Basil Rathbone will always be Holmes to me. Even the lesser movies (which is most of them) have charm and wit. And, even if Watson was played as a bigger dolt than Doyle conceived him, the Rathbone -Nigel Bruce chemistry was unbeatable.

BTW, I am 2/3's of the way through Grant's Memoirs. I'll blog about it in depth when I'm done, but I'm convinces that Grant's was the supreme military mind in American history.

Foxessa said...

My opinion, which isn't humble, is that Grant was a very great mind, period.

Not literary, not many other areas, but nevertheless, a great mind, and why did it take so goddamned long for the Union army to figure this out?

But at least Lincoln did -- who also did everything he could to educate himself into warfare, which he'd had no thought of before -- and when he saw what Grant was accomplishing - "That's the Man!" and supported him ever after.

Gotta say that's two great people coming together in that Horror Ball of warfare.

Why do I win something?

Love, C.