Monday, May 18, 2009

History vs. heritage

History seeks to convince by truth, and succumbs to falsehood. Heritage exaggerates and omits, candidly invents and frankly forgets ... Heritage everywhere not only tolerates but thrives on historical error. Falsified legacies are integral to group identity and uniqueness."

--David Lowenthal, as quoted by A. Katie Harris in From Muslim to Christian Granada. Inventing a City's Past in Early Modern Spain (2007), p. xv.

1 comment:

Wayne G. Sayles said...

If one accepts Lowenthal's view, which I frankly do, then the inevitable conclusion is that Cultural Heritage as we define it in our own age is a sham. Each of us builds our own cultural frame which may or may not conform to certain others, but is most assuredly not geocentric. How then, can nationalist laws be justified and accepted in a global environment as the preservation of Cultural Heritage?