Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Time-travel to the past in America
Well, first there is this, a statement that has long intrigued me:
Philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist George Santayana is known to be the originator of the quote: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
And then there is this:
As I pointed out in an earlier posting, I have spent a significant but not lengthy portion of my adult life reading, studying, and talking about literature, and my blogging activities over the years have been determined largely by that focus, but long ago -- once upon a time -- I never gave much thought to imaginative literature but instead planned on becoming an American history teacher. Alas, that career goal was never achieved, and my previously posted autobiographical sketch somewhat explains the reasons. Now, though, it is time for a return to the past. What do I mean? Please continue reading.
My posting this morning included my fanciful desire for time-travel. Now, friends, I recognize the folly of that fantasy, especially as it might unless amended involve even more reading and talking about literature. The prospect of another far flung, meandering adventure among fiction and poetry does not interest me except for time spent with a few exemplary writers from the past. But I have stumbled upon a different and more interesting doorway for a pleasurable itinerary, one that will help me remember the past and avoid repetitions in my own life: I will give myself over to the reading and studying American history (and a few exemplary writers from the 19th century).
Here is my first time-travel reading project:
Paul Johnson's 1100-page narrative history, portions of which I have read in the past and will read in bits and pieces again, will be among my many "time travel vehicles." Similar books will become my time-consuming transports to thousands of discoveries in the days, weeks, and months ahead; I have already accumulated 27 history and biography texts that have for too long collected dust among on my iPad.
Now, though, while I have no definite plans for the future of this blog, which might be more silent than active, I leave you with a two-part question:
What moment in American history interests you so much that you would if you could time-travel and become an on-scene witness to history in the making? Why?