". . . 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

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Reading Wednesday Brings Trees

     . . . . Last year (2015)

 the German Random House publishing group issued The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate; Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben.

Eltz Castle, an important trade center  Moselle River, controlling the trade route important in the days of Barbaossa of the Moselle River the Eifel region.

     . . . .Wohllben is a forester, tending the trees of the Hümmel community in the Eifel Mountain range of Western Germany, on the border of Belgium. His book has been translated into many languages and has been bestseller throughout Europe. This year (2016) it got translated into English.  I learned of this book first back in September from an interview on NPR's program, Talking Point. It has been a breakout hit here too, likely appealing to many of the same readers (like me) enthusiastic about Helen Macdonald's 2014 H Is For Hawk.  I say this because many of the same people who reviewed H Is For Hawk have also written as extensively and enthusiastically about The Hidden Life of Trees.

     . . . . A Swedish television interview (both the interviewer and author are speaking in English) can be seen here. As it probably expresses better than I can why this book is so interesting, I've put it here.

     . . . . It's the tragedy of human kind, that in its fatal hubris, while destroying nature and the planet itself never have some of humans written so movingly, so intelligently, with such empathy, about nature, and how its various aspects are itself, and not us.

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