The Dustbin of History

Essay by kimtoaCollege, UndergraduateB+, December 2007

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Greil Marcus article was mainly about how he viewing different kinds situation and events that can be seen under as historical incident, such as entertainment-films and books. Marcus’s believed that history is a past and it would never exist at all if we peoples not going to create one. But we all can still have an opportunity to viewing that past anytime by read books for references, read old newspapers and watch historical movies to get the idea of what history is really meant to be. But sometime the sources that we were looking at can be false, which mean the information is consider as inaccurate, because it’s already a past and we cannot prove if the fact is actual or not. History is what was shape by us, we are the one who form it in every angle way.

One of Greil Marcus quote that does really catch my attention is when he discusses about watching a drama and commercial on the television that he would believed none of that can be seen under as history.

Marcus stated, ‘“history” it’s over, and it is understood that it never existed at all.” I can feel Marcus tone in this statement that he’s very confident of what he said. I personally have the same feeling as Marcus does, we all live for the future, everyday would consider as a new day, fresh, and unpredicted incident that would challenge in life. What call history is what had happened long time ago, we people face miserable, separation during wars and being racist by other race. And now that our country had conquered that, we gain the control in today world, and we no longer surrounded by those past incidents. Only different nationalities peoples would consider we’re history to them, because they don’t know who we are.

Marcus’s discussed that when we “thank to a teacher, a book, or disruptions of an unpredicted historical even-that what one has always been told is incomplete, backward, false, a lie.” What Marcus meant by this is that everything we learned would consider as base on sources, such as teacher, book, etc. We gain our knowledge from them, and they are the one who gain their understanding from higher sources. But one of the sources that shouldn’t be relying on is historical event, because there is no way we can prove whether it’s a fact or it’s a lie. The historical event would be passing down from one person to another person and to the next. All we learn from it would be untrustworthiness information that the teller want to attract the listener, which is us who are the victim.

The author once believed that “history is a kind of legend, and we do understand or sense, without quite knowing how or why.” I do feel the same way about his quote, something that we have no specific thought or any idea about the history can be recall as a legend. Because we don’t know the truth that lie behind it, history then become mystery to everyone and we all live in the world of wonder, whether if there’s anyone going to resolve the problem nor we have to keep on imagine of what history is really was like. However, we understand only a vivid of what it signifies, but still when discuss about the word “history” we always identify it as past, and so the past always remain as a question to each one of us, we then imagine it as a beautiful legend.

Throughout Greil Marcus article, I supposed that Marcus is a man with lot of experiences in life about history and how he can recognize them in different category. In some way I do agree to what the author said, it does make sense. History is a past and we all should live in the present and for the future, there would be no past if we’re not creating one by our own. The reason it’s a past because we have no back up proof to prove if the fact is precise or flawed, but then now we all can experience the present, things that actually happen all around us, observe each and every obstacle everyday in life, then there would be no such history can occur. It only occurs when no one can tell the truth of where it was actually hidden at. But nevertheless, history can happen as allowing for our next generation to experience and understand the background of their first generation, which is our past.

Work Cited: Marcus, Greil. The Dustbin of History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP 1989