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I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

H is for History

History: From Latin historia; from Greek meaning inquiry, history, from histor, istor meaning knowing, learned; akin to Greek eidenai, to know.

So history is really about knowing, about being learned. It is the true story.

I have always loved history. As a child I wanted to be an archaeologist. I was most interested in the Greeks and Romans. I knew the names of battles and places, armies and generals, the gods and goddesses and myths. (I've forgotten most of what I knew.) I liked U. S. history up through the Civil War. World history, the history of England, the Caribbean. My own family history.

But history, human history, is the story of human violence. And it is written by the winners. Sad, but true. Although I still enjoy reading a biography of an historical person or a good historical novel, I'm not so thrilled as I once was.

I'm tired of the violence that is/has been perpetrated.

Yet without history, we wouldn't have story. For all story is based on a history, even if it's made up. So here's the task, to write a different kind of story based on a history without the violence. One where violence doesn't have a name. What kind of story would it be?

I'm dreaming, I know.


  1. You're right, history is full of violence. Quite depressing really.

  2. I must admit I wasn't at all enthusiastic about history at school but now I'm grown I love it and find it intriguing!

    Duncan In Kuantan

  3. So true - history is written by the winners. There's a whole other side to the story out there, too.

  4. Actually, 'historia' in Greek means 'story' :o)

    I love history too. I started out at uni studying archaeology, but then all the scientific stuff like research methods came into play and I quit! lol. Was never good at math ...

    Jessica @ The Alliterative Allomporph

  5. I run a Living History group for out local U3A and we have all put together for a book of history 1930-1960 through the eyes of us children then. Of course there is violence in the background there was a world war on but it is amazing how little it impinges on our memories - memoirs of ordinary people give a different viewpoint of a period. they are not the winners and often not the losers they just are.

  6. I wish history was more about the away of life than the events. I think that's why its so violent. you have to have killed something for it the be noteworthy.Just being human was not good enough.

  7. I have loved homeschooling to teach about the world events. But you're right, Bish. Violence is history, Everywhere you look. We're studying about Australia and the aborigine tribes warring with one another. It's EVERYWHERE!

    I think in your dream history would be so much better.

    I think for a writing exercise, it would be a great idea to rewrite a certain part of history like your dream would have it to be. :-)

    Have a great weekend. (((hugs)))

  8. I love learning about history, especially reading first hand accounts of past events.

    Although it is true most of the time that history is one by the winners, I have heard that dictators change real history to suit their means.

  9. I hated history at school - it was badly taught and mostly, so it seemed to me, all about lists of dates. As an adult I really like reading about the past and enjoyed teaching the subject to 7 to 9-year-olds.
    We should learn from history - sadly, too often we don't.

  10. Me too, me too and me too. I've always loved reading history, even the dates. Ha What kind of a story you ask..... probably a "la la Land story." Always like your choice of subjects.

  11. I love history as well, but for me it's ancient history. I wanted to be an archeologist when I grew up too.

  12. For me, history is all about people living their lives in difficult circumstances. It illustrates we are capable of violence, survival, love, envy, hope, weakness, courage and much more.

    We've made good and bad decisions along the way, and no doubt we'll make many more.

  13. I think Gene Roddenbury shared your vision when he created the Star Trek universe.

  14. You're right, it is one of the most remarkable things about WWII, I think. Looking back, the terrible violence was caused by such evil that it is the one thing most people can agree on. War was unavoidable. But the wars today...that is another story, I think. Does this comment even make sense, I don't know.

    I agree with Alex.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

  15. Paradise and Utopia are such boring places. It would be nice to abolish violence, but in this world, there is an opposition in all things. War is ugly, but it also spawns heroism and compassion and a greater appreciation for peace. And the dark side gives us so many things to play with in our writing.

  16. I think without history (gruesome or otherwise), we'd be no where !! The past had a lot of meaning, and the stories told down by the generations have something to be learnt...

    On reality, it makes us think twice about what we want in this world... like say "peace", "humanity", "compassion" etc...

    On the fiction, it does create loads of ideas :)

    So yay for history..

  17. Bish,
    I never was a history person but what did I do? married a History buff and former History teacher; interesting, huh?
    My son loves history and they talk and talk and talk and so I go into my head and write :) but I'm glad they have something in common!

  18. History is one of my favorite genres to read... and yes it is filled with violence, but as writers aren't we taught that every good story needs conflict?

  19. History is pretty violent... I love how when you're reading history... it will be like "and then there was peace for 50 years... and then blah blah happened" and they completely skip over the 50 non bloody years... It's still great to study... and some parts of history are really inspiring.

  20. You know, I never really looked at history like that, but how true.

    My Hero

  21. I've also always loved history. But it does look like an endless stream of violence.

  22. I love history as well, and I've always wondered why chaos always has to begin every kind of change.There must still be that animal in some part of our brains that we have yet to outgrow as humans.

  23. You are dreaming - or maybe it's my tired brain but I can't think of it!

    Another huge history fan - I love social history and am fascinated by family history.

    Great post for your letter H


  24. I love history too, but I'm not too good at remembering dates and stuff ;)


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