". . . 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

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sophia Tolstoy + Leo Tolstoy's 186th Birthday Google Doodle

This was a non-dimensional tribute to Tolstoy's fiction -- sanitized of the terrors within his works, without any connection to the life the writer led, particularly of the terrible life he led Sophia, his wife, and their deeply troubled marriage, which was well known even then.

She was 18 when the 34-year old Leo Tolstoy married her.

A self portrait
Sophia Tolstoy was a photographer and diarist of significance, dealing with both tsarist Russia and Tolstoy and their lives; she copied and edited Tolstoy's work; eight of her 13 children survived childhood -- there were miscarriages as well.  Tolstoy himself found pregnancy and childbirth and babies disgusting, while she was overwhelmed with caring for the surviving children and everything else from keeping the accounts to overseeing running his estates, his serfs and the animals. Yet, people will wonder why their marriage became so troubled.

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