Sunday, October 17, 2004

School started today. There was a meeting in the afternoon where we met a couple of the new first year students. looks like a nice bunch, wish i'd met more of them, but there were a lot of people from my year that i hadnt seen all summer. T gave me a nice surprise; a caramel packed with a little sumthin-sumthin. wink wink, nudge nudge.

Had a class on Palestinian nationalism with a great prof. I read one of his books, and his introduction was briliant. All about the need for the historian to empathize with his subject. Not sympathize, mind you, empathize. It's a world of difference, and empathy is vastly important. If i get my hands on that book again maybe i'll quote a little for you.

Anyway, here's a tidbit i just came across in one of my readings.

"To stand up and declare loudly what history can achieve is fully as important as pointing out its limitations and duplicities. In this century, in particular, millions of men and women have died because they or others believed fabrications about the past fed them by politicians, by journalists, by fanatics - and by bad historians as well. If historians have any public function at all, and they should have, it is to point out that the past cannot be entirely mocked; that some truths can be ascertained amidst the myths, the memories, and the doubts. If they fail to do this, they deserve nothing better be hounded from the shelter of academe and buried in unknown graves." - Linda Colley


Blogger Firas said...

"except it's always exciting to discover that people i dont know are reading this. pretty crazy. am i really that fascinating? i doubt it. but i understand voyeurism. so it's cool."

Don't flatter yourself, I check your blog occasionally since we've had an email conversation following your "greetings from zionist imperialist" message to me. Feel free to follow this plug to my own (mostly inactive) blog.

Question: Is the quote you presented an example of "empathy" with palestinian nationalism or an example for the need for historian integrity? This is not a loaded question, I just wasn't clear about its relation to what preceeded it.

ps: I understand fully what you mean by "empathy" vs. "sympathy" in this context. (and agree)
pps: I'm planning to watch Zardoz soon thanks to you.


October 18, 2004 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger ~d~ said...

i shall quickly deflate my head. no no, im well aware of the fact that i'm not that interesting. but lets face it, even the most mundane of blogs that mentions zardoz, has still mentioned zardoz. Regretably, it is still no zardoz.

The quote actually comes from a criticism of postmodernism.

The book i was talking about is a biography of Wasfi al-Tal, the (many times) jordanian PM, written by Asher Susser. great book.

and definatly, definatly, check out Zardoz.

October 18, 2004 at 10:58 PM  
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