". . . 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

Monday, March 26, 2012

David Blight Discusses Edmund Wilson's *Patriotic Gore*

This was particularly interesting for me since I recently read through Wilson's Patriotic Gore myself, this winter, for the first time since the 80's.  Like Professor Blight, I too was surprised by the volume, fascinated but shocked, shocked in a negative way.  Wilson dismisses out of hand that there was any concern about slavery outside the CSA states, and the small number of whackos who were concerned about abolition had no effect on anything.  I.e. he adhered lock stock and aim to the revisionist War of Northern Agression stance, that was still in place in 1962, when the book came out as part of the Civil War centennial.  And then there were the women Wilson paid no attention to, as writers, activists and actors in this vast event, as well as his unexamined repetition that Grant was a drunk so how did he manage to outgeneral the great gentleman Robert E. Lee, blahblahblah.

What Blight did was go into the reasons why Wilson composed and structured Patriotic Gore as he did.

Much worth reading, you can find "Patriotic Gore is Not Really Much Like Any Other Book by Anyone Else," on Slatedotcom.

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