". . . 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, December 29, 2012

Titles Members Recommend Frome Their 2012 Reading

We're working on the popular annual List of what the members recommend to other reader out of their own reading, 3 titles maximum. 2 - 3 sentence description - justification.

We're working on our own recommendations too, that go into this special pdf issue attachment to da List.

The recs have been coming fast and furious. I was looking over previous years'. Gads, Ned's List is filled with readers, who read really good books.

As usual I thought I'd have a hard time coming up with three titles. I have one that I knew from the first pages when I was reading early in 2012 would go on the List, but what else? Not a problem, no it is not. So many wonderful books.

The problem would be if I had to pull out three or more novels that I could recommend unreservedly and I cannot. There's only a single title that works on every level, which is River of Smoke, the second in Amitav Ghosh's Ibis trilogy. The first was Sea of Poppies, which I didn't like anywhere as much as River of Smoke. But now he's got me anticipating the third volume. River of Smoke has everything: exciting historical fiction (1830's Asia), fascinating characters of all genders and voices, as well as languages, a lot of comedy as well as catastrophe, exciting locations, lots of action -- and yes, it appears to also be literary. Who knew?

As well, Who Knows the title of the third volume, for so far it seems to be kept quite quiet. It takes Ghosh quite some time to write his novels, so he likely, intelligently, prefers not to provide any fodder for speculation as to what he's up to until the book is complete.

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