". . . 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, August 9, 2014

Best Beach / Summer Vacation Read

My best summer read didn't take place at a beach, but on the university's outdoor swimming pool deck. I spent the mornings in intensive Spanish classes (two semesters in 6 weeks), nights memorizing and drilling Spanish irregular verbs, grammar and prepositions.  The middle afternoon, after a bout at the gym, it was swimming time, under the golden sun and turquoise sky of New Mexico.

That summer I read for the first time, Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.  In-between long takes of Kostya Lev's meditations, Anna's dresses, Kitty's disappointment,

Stiva and Dolly's marital ups and downs, the most exciting horse race ever written, haymaking, babies born and brothers dying -- I'd leap into the pool to cool off and swim some laps.

 It smells faintly still of my coconut-hibiscus scented tanning oil.

Anna's rise to passion and fall to suicide lasted the whole summer.

When I finished the novel, the Spanish course was finished and it was time to pack, leaving behind this paradise to New York, and a life that not only would not be centered around a university, but where winter mattered, and except for him, I knew not a soul.

That summer I was also madly, passionately in love, and living with him!

There were many adventures, felicities and infelicities, in many places, still ahead for him and me, including break-ups and separations. Then, we got married.  The adventures -- and the marriage -- are still works in progress.

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