". . . 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, June 17, 2012

The Day Is Short, in *Shadow of Night*

The day is short when one walks home from a Timbathon after 3 AM and gets home about an hour and a half later. It also makes one feel like one did on summer Sunday mornings way back in the day when this was just one's way of life ... and I mean that in the best of ways, feeling younger! it was just too lovely a night not to stay up all night.

I also have to say that its splendid to have this library program in place that allows us to borrow books to take home, not just from the NYPL Humanities research collection, but from the libraries at NYU and Columbia. I am getting such great material I feel like a gloating pirate.

It's only 68 degrees so far today. El V's continuing his Lossless project to migrate in organized manner the content of his enormous cd collection to various external hard drives. I am working on the Deborah Harkness Shadow of Night article, second volume in her All Souls trilogy (article on the first volume, A Discovery of Witches, here).

Goddamn, this series is exciting, as well as giving us beautiful things with which to play! The riches it provides of questions to frustrate myself with -- among them the mutability of the historical record, the helix that is time and that is DNA! I am having so much fun, in a way that novels, whether genre or not, seldom provide these days, when romance and / or sex and / or violence is so much the point of the story.

Then there's the fun choosing beautiful images of Ptolemy's Cosmology, Plato, Aristotle's and Renaissance concepts of the Great Chain of Being, Pythagoras's Music of the Spheres, Heraclitus's River, Alchemical and Tarot images, Darwin's evolutionary tree, DNA and Ionization images -- all those helixes oooooo! -- to illustrate.

It's kind of like being with a highly educated, curious, conversationally skilled, charming friend, drinking perfectly chilled dry champagne with strawberries on the side on a perfect June afternoon.

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