Tuesday, August 18, 2009

History Must be Learned in Pieces

"History must be learned in pieces. This is partly because we have only pieces of the past -- shards, ostraca, palimpsets, crumbling codices with missing pages, newsreel clips, snatches of song, faces of iols whose bodies have long since turned to dust -- which give us glimpses of what has been but never the whole reality. How could they? We cannot encompass the whole reality even of the times in which we live. Human beings never know more than part, as 'through a glass darkly'; and all knowledge comes to us in pieces."

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