catapult magazine

catapult magazine


War and Peace


Aug 05 2003
12:40 pm

What Grant just wrote reminds me of something I wrote while studying Margaret Atwood’s Robber Bride.

“History itself is constructed and promotes a different reading by each new viewer. Each person who reads or writes history takes one path, neglecting the others. A particular interpretation is gleaned by each reader, never allowing the whole picture to be seen.”

Even the most ‘objective’ historiographer has as his/her basis a human subjectivity. No matter how sterile a historical fact may be, the conditions surrounding it will somehow intrude on the telling and re-telling. Tolstoy shows this in his meshing of personal narrative and historical ‘fact’. We see him, as the author, inbueing significance and the roundness of human experience into the history of Russia by integrating objective fact with personal story.