". . . 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, January 19, 2014

Turning the Mini-Series Inside Out

This is an examination of the 80's American television mini-series tropes, within the context of the premiere of a parody television series of same, Spoils of Babylon.

In the NY Times television section here.  "Turning the Mini-Series Inside Out."

Spoils is all for laughs and so is this little piece of writing.  Nevertheless it provides a brief run-down of what we expect from these epic-as-television-min-series.

I have blogged here fairly extensively about this mini-series  (and here too) as well as other 80's series, but while typing is considered therapy right now, mousing, and all that isn't -- hurts!  But I am going without the sling today as advised.

I have enjoyed these 80's mini-series very much via dvd -- never saw them when they were broadcast as that happened in the largest part of my life, lived without television.

As I have various significant Life Before and After phases, such as Before El V After El V,  Before Cuba After Cuba, there are other less important one such as Before DVD on Computer and After DVD on Computer -- via which I caught up on all the television I wanted to catch up on within a few years.  Though, as I watched most of this long after their 'time' so to speak, my responses to these generally are different than the contemporary responses when they were broadcast -- for me they are entertaining, but filled with a particular sort of historical data, that dramatizes literally how this nation saw itself and how it wished itself to be seen -- sometimes unconsciously so revealing what it might not like to know about itself.

At this stage when it comes to entertainment, particularly any sort of fiction, it's how the content employs history that most interests me.

What I gleaned from this little piece linked to above is how much the tropes that are necessary to 80's American television mini-series are the same necessary expectations of Big or Fairly Big or Aspiration to Big Fantasy Fiction.  And that is most intriguing to think about.

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