". . . 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

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Libraries Are Part of Home Too

What wealth there is in a home that includes the New York Public Library system.

The condition that my back's in from the last few days of bending, twisting, turning, hauling, picking up, etc. for moving and unpacking mandated that today I not do these things. So off I subwayed to the Fifth Ave. Humanities Research Library, a/k/a now the Schwarzman Building, to pick up the materials I'd requested on the U.S. history, frontier, violence and mythology. That means I'm really back here; I'm so grateful to have this 'favored' status in which I can actually take home materials from the non-circulating libraries. This is an innovation that has just come in, to help serve better qualified scholars and researchers.

But the poor library system is being choked of sustenance. They are begging for funds and every kind of support anyone and everyone can provide. These are the situations in which I feel angry that I am not rich. If I were rich, I could give them funds. I would mandate those funds could be used for nothing except salaries for librarians and materials -- the two things that nobody wants to donate funds to provide.  They want something they can put their name on.

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