Historia Inmediata/ Debates


Es posible una historia inmediata?

 
Dear Friends
 
It is hard for me to accept that ALL history has ALWAYS been immediate.  Certainly much in the last few centuries has been, but not all, and when you go back further than the Enlightenment I think it would be hard to argue for imemdiacy.  The case could be made for an "immediacy" of need--to justify or explain current circumstances; but that often enough required an establouishment of the past, so that the essence of any decision-making was a search for precedents, and even a need to return to an earlier situation through reproduction of its characters, scenario and forces in the present.  Could anyone before "modern times" have imagined a "future" as distinct from the past?  There could be a religious teleology, even apocalypse, but this was an end to history and a return to the beginning (somewhat lkike Eliade's "eternal return").

There is also a case to be made for the notion that only from the Renaissance forward was a new kind of past tense invented (instituted)--one of the "immediate past", not just incomplete and ongoing, but as yet laden with the values of form at all.  Otherwise events were ephemeral, hardly registered in memory until they could be put in perspective, given a rhetorical/historiographic form (generic shape and stylistic reality), and discovered to have proper antecedents in order to validate its memorial status.
 
Norman Simms
Waikato University-New Zeland