Lizard – where has the time gone? It’s a year since we last corresponded—and, indeed, since anyone wrote anything here. I mentioned this to Simon and he replied with two T. S. Eliot quotes:
“The most important thing for poets to do is to write as little as possible”;
“And they write innumerable books; being too vain and distracted for silence, seeking every one after his own elevation, and dodging his emptiness.”
In other words, if you have nothing to say, say nothing. Now, for no particular reason other than the moment seems to have arrived, I find myself wanting to revisit our last communication (the three posts prior to this).
You were right to point out my muddy thinking. I should have made a clearer distinction between “history” as the version of events accepted by mainstream society to be its own story, and the “Alienation Theory of History”, which posits a broken relationship between that story and certain individuals who feel out of place in mainstream society. Such people look at the past and see no account of themselves there, but may instead see a reflection of their anxiety and sense of displacement. Without the convenience of history to give them an identity, they must try to invent themselves in the moment, and in each succeeding moment. This requires the creative capability I referred to, which can “cut across linear thinking in its search for truth”. “Truth”, here, can stand as an approximation of reality with which such people can feel comfortable.
So, the Alienation History of theory of history is not a version of history; it belongs instead in the broad field of creative thinking. I hope this clears up the confusion I inadvertently caused.