Anecdotes

My uncle brought along with him the books I needed from Iceland, which Koleen had packed up (Thank you dear!).

In this process I have been reminded of just how pivotal it was for me to read Stephen Greenblatt's "New Historicism". I don't know what professional historians think about it, but as an archaeologist/literature person, I found it really helpful. The book advocates thinking of history not as a long march of events, but rather as a conglomeration of small anecdotes. Things that happen to particular people at particular times, local and personal. They may not have been part of any series of events that changed the course of history, and many of them have no long term "historical" repercussions. But they happened, and in that sense they are historical. They were the little daily things that mattered to those people, at that time.

I have been keeping up a bit with the discussion of the Icesave repayment, and my feeling is that Olaf Ragnar's decision to send this latest law to referendum is going to be an anecdote of history, a footnote. I do not believe it fits into any grand narrative about the course of democracy in Iceland.  The Constitutional Committee election could have done that, had it too not been turned into a carnival act.

Comments

VJ said…
Of your professed different take on history I have not much understanding.
A womanly approach however might be missing in certain disciplines.

Keep going but brace for a headwind.

Ólafur Ragnar, however, wouldn't take it lightly if you allot him the footnotes of history only.
Lissy said…
Well, Stephen Greenblatt might object to his approach being termed womanly, since his point is the simple one that events happen in chunks that can be told as anecdotes, rather than in the rambling narratives of most historians. And of course I mean ORG is a footnote mostly in terms of Icesave.

I was very glad to see your initials here in my comment box, since I get so few argumentative visitors. And I do like a spirited discussion.
Ko-Leen said…
glad it worked out with the books - you got your mail too right?

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