". . . 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, July 29, 2017

"When Greeks Flew Kites" - Sarah Dunant's BBC Podcast Series

     . . . . This morning I subscribed to Sarah Dunant's podcast series, "When Greeks Flew Kites," the first podcast series I have ever subscribed to;  it's already in my Overdrive audio download folder, and I'll be able to hear it for five days, starting tomorrow. 
‘The answers history gives us depend on the questions we ask it’
A new radio podcast will look at present-day anxieties through the prism of the past . . . .
When Greeks Flew Kites takes some of our present-day anxieties and looks at them through the prism of the past. The first programme explores our current fears about the future; how the older, never-had-it-so-good generation is handing on a wasteland of debt and insecurity to its children. It is as if a long-established pact – that each generation should do better than the last – is breaking down. How did we get here?
We focus on the rise of the nuclear family; race and the American dream; and British myths; how those of who grew up in the postwar era were led to believe that the future would continue to deliver social mobility and improvement.
For those old enough to be our own history now, how do our memories square up with reality?

Why did I subscribe to this series when I've never had an inclination to do so for any of the thousands of others out there, from every venue from our public radio system to every online news venue, to all the independents? This one is about the value of history from a very good writer of historical fiction, who is as comfortable writing for and presenting with a microphone to an audience as she is in archives and libraries.  As the other genre she writes in includes thrillers, and has a background in theater, she has a strong sense of pacing and rhythm too -- which so few writers do.

So, perhaps writers setting themselves up as podcasters have it backwards? The podcasts are to attract readers to their books, but in this case it was the books (and the content of the occasional Dunant article I've encountered, such as this one) that attracted me to her podcast.

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