As it Happens, darkly

I have been reading up on the Dark Ages (one must of course use capitals,eh?). Except that as eras go they really were not particularly Dark. There were certainly some dark spots. Such as Constantine declaring that Christianity was the official religion of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire eventually disappeared. And the concept of Christianity certainly changed.

The thing to remember is that History as we know it is a modern invention. Until recently History had very little to do with Facts or Truth. It was whatever the author decided it was. And the author as a rule was paid by the winners.

Until recently we would read that paragraph and laugh. Ha Ha. But the truth is that we are retreating to our traditional concept of History and Religion. American christians are horribly persecuted and we know that the Holocaust never really happened.

Here is my question then.When you write which is more important, Truth or the Story?

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4 Responses to As it Happens, darkly

  1. t.s.wright says:

    When you write history, it should be truthful and unbiased (much like when one reports the news – should be). When writing fiction, it is very important to lie around a few accepted truths.

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  3. The thing to remember is that History as we know it is a modern invention.

    And, the thing about “modern” is that the description itself spans an awfully long time. Societies across the globe have been documenting their events and “facts” well beyond the post-classical period which predates the historiographical Modern Era. Otherwise Modern History wouldn’t be so old to cause us to think or speak “traditionally”. And, luckily, in many of those long past societies someone other than the winner had a quill and ink at hand, or we wouldn’t have developed such a knack for arguing with the winners đŸ˜‰ I miss history classes, comparative religion classes, and the opportunities to debate the authentic vs convenient propaganda.

    As for your last question about the importance of Truth and Story, it depends on who and when you ask the question and in what context. Personally, when digging through history, I like to find the story in the truth. Sometimes it’s even possible to pinpoint the moment in which the truth dissolves into a story, that moment when the State stepped in to deliberately interrupt the truth and redirect it all to a fiction that ensures citizen loyalty (or obedience in lieu of loyalty).

    History is fun like that.

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