Monday, March 26, 2007

What do you think?

"It has been said that though God cannot alter the past, historians can..."

From Erehwon Revisted (chapter 14), by Samuel Butler (1835-1902)


clinch64 said...

Can the past really be altered, or just one's interpretation of it.


R. L. Vaughn said...

I have seem this often quoted or misquoted in various sources, usually history related.

I haven't read Butler's entire book, but did look it up online in order to read the context in chapter 14. It seems to me that Butler is making a jab at historians and what they do (and their usefulness or the lack thereof). Of course, we must also keep in mind that this is a work of fiction.

I think it is a good quote to bring us back to the thought that history/the past IS what it is (or was). It is a favorite pasttime of historians to constantly reinterpret it.