". . . 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, March 5, 2016

Pat Conroy Dies

In some ways his books were my introduction to South Carolina, starting when he began publishing them.  As with so many readers certainly, that

Prince of Tides (1986) contained the ambient charm of South Carolina -- for WHITE readers -- his work provided me with regional and thus exotic description of place and time, particularly that of coastal SC.

I read intently his book describing his experiences teaching on an isolated Sea Island school of all black kids. {c&p from Wiki}:
The Water Is Wide is a 1972 memoir [1] by Pat Conroy and is based on his work as a teacher on Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, which is called Yamacraw Island in the book. The book is sometimes identified as nonfiction[2] and other times identified as a novel.[3]

As this region of the U.S. is the cradle of secession and slavery is God's will by GAWD, it was particularly interesting he was very young then, and it was the Civil Rights and Vietnam era.  I didn't read The Water is Wide though, until I had all that history about SC and the slavery of the coast and the Sea Islands rice plantations. Anyone who possesses this historical information sees  Beaufort (site of what is known as "Secession House" the mansion built by Barnwell Rhett and his fire eating secessionist brothers; there's even an inscription they put on the basement walls that boasts, "in this house the first meeting of Secession was held")  and the Sea Islands with very different eyes than do snow birding tourists,

I'm looking forward to being down there again at the end of May.

No comments: