Uplifting Quotes for the Uninspired Historian #6

History is made up of a multitude of whispery but insistent voices from the past, each filled with its own imaginings and fond hopes, cynicism or despair, its own way of understanding an endlessly complex world, of explaining the inexplicable, of articulating an imperfect, subjective grasp on an historically determined existence. This conglomerate of contested, contingent meaning making that we call experience must be caught in a finer mesh, in the analysis of the webs of life as lived by individuals in relation to each other, as well as in the broader web of discourses that shaped and sought to define those lives. In analysis of the particular, and in the complexity of its relationship to the general, lies the recurring fascination of history.

Penny Russell, ‘Cultures of Distinction’ in Hsu-Ming Teo and Richard White Cultural History in Australia, Sydney, UNSW Press, 2003  p. 169

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