Monday, May 23, 2005

serious history

I wonder if you can really grade history into "serious" and "light." I detest binaries. The notion of "serious" history came up today and it made me pause to think of our perspective on history or histories.

It calls into question what we deem as history. Is it all accounts of agression, politicals, social upheaval? Can history be joyful? Aren't most "golden" periods of history actually a site of repression and veiled hardship, if we probe enough? Also, how to we compare "serious" histories? Can one genocide trump another? What about economic downfall; is that less sexy?

On a side note, why do I find Eastern European literature so depressing? That said, is there a correlation between heavy, serious fiction and what I deem depressing Eastern European lit like Kundera and Klima?


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