A Single Hour
Posted by Cassia on November 17, 1997 at 19:00:43:
In response to History vs. reality, written by Jane Elizabeth on November 15, 1997 at 14:53:09
I thought of this in relation to the scholars in Possession. Would Roland or Maud give up all their research and documents about the past in exchange for one hour living in it? One hour in Ash's house, in Yorkshire, with Christabel in the tower? The answer for them is most likely also a resounding No. Their raison d'etre is the act of discovering and investigating, and then INVENTING their own version of things. It isn't really truth they're after, but a way of making the past relevant to themselves.
They both say they aren't interested in the lives of their poets. The words of the poets are what intrigues. Then again, Roland and Maud learn that the words cannot be separated from the lives of the poets, don't they. Ash's and Christabel's poetry change after they are exposed to each other. Therefore, if the option were offered wouldn't they have to have at least two hours, one before Yorkshire and one after to make any kind of valid observation?
] All history is fiction after all. And if you went back in time, to Agincourt, or Camelot, or anywhere, all you could do with the knowledge would be to retell it from your own point of view. The truth would be your own invention.
I believe history to be less fiction than point of view. There are still facts: Queen Elizabeth had Mary of Scotland beheaded, the US dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima then Nagasaki, these are facts. The issue becomes whether they are just actions, and point of view is the decider.
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.