Tuesday 16 July 2013

Boring History ...

Or ... my strong belief that life is bigger than can be grasped between the binding of a book or on celluloid (or digitally).

Even the great William Shakespeare had to reduce the story of King Richard III to a minimum to make it into a story adabtation for the theatre.

-- Boring History --
You see, I am still fuming!

King Richard III had to be reduced to an un-recognizable flat and one-dimensional villain, to be able to be brought on stage. The real person just would have been 'too much' for telling his story in a few hours.
'History is not enough - they just had to invent a few wrong things to make the story interesting...'
I am really angry about that.

It is not that I had not enough of the same encounters during studying history.
When one introduces one's subject, the general reaction always (!) is, "Oh, I hated history at school."

So did I or rather thought it an unnecessary memory training/burden, till we came to the original sources and history started to come alive for me, as it was about real people, their different fates, their fight for their small place in life to survive, to care for their families, their ideals, their work, their loved ones,...

They often had burdensome fates, stark opposition and still they fought through and managed their lives in an admirable way. They deserve better than to be reduced to be seen by us as being

too boring.

The one thing I think future generations will think about our time is,
they were too arrogant to see their own stupidity and errors and did not even try to solve the problems of their time and also did not see their chances to lay the foundations for a better future.
(Not that I exclude me, it is just what I expect future generations to think about us.)

Besides, I don't think future generations will know all too much about us, because the technological advancement will cut them off from most of the resources and storages we use now. So they will have to judge us by what we reached, not what we intended or how bright we thought to be, so in principle, much alike to what we do with former historical generations.

Now, off to building facts for a better future...


  1. I'm technologically challenged (to say the least. Nothing to do with age/gender, math section of brain awol.) Taught son to read and write and count. He manages the technology quite nicely, and rescues me from tech meltdowns. He also writes coherently and with comprehension. There's hope for the planet yet. :)History is always open to interpretation. Views of past times are a moving target. Nevertheless, as with detective stories - dates, who was where when, qui bono, play an important part in research, and in having a sense of from where we derive.


    1. You certainly set the plant for a better future, fitzg ;o)
      What made me so angry about the comment in some way comes from the sense, you should treat someone else as you would want to be treated. But we never seem to apply that rule to our ancestors.
      The humans are the only animals on earth which can tell their great...grandchildren a story.
      But we just stand there and say - oh burn it, it is just too boring. Your life was of no relevance, because only I am important now. I just don't get it, why he thinks he is more imporant though he only exists because so many before him did and had a much harder life than he has now. And doing research is a way of respect and attention for the circumstances of at a time real living and breathing people, not just a fictional character, who can be changed, adjusted and disposed off easily.
      Just a hopeless endeavour to get angry about that. I will try harder to calm down now - its of no use anyway

  2. I agree -- the sources (and trying to figure out what they mean) are the main thing that are interesting about history. Unfortunately, that's not a general attitude ...

    1. Thank you very much, Servetus.
      For me, the sources were the real joy of historical research, the bridge between time, the glimpse into a different time and into what people of a different time wanted to tell us.