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orion-list RE: Toynbee's Triad of Historical Presentation
George Brooks said:
>>I appreciate David Hindley's creative efforts to put some perspective on
what kind of perspective professors and/or Orion participants might employ
in treating DSS history.<<
"Creative" ... hmmm, I could get used to that! <g> Others would probably
use different words, though. I must admit that I read some interpretation
into his account, but for the most part I retained his wording and I can
only hope also the thrust of his arguments (and all those square brackets
are evidence of this).
>>I am still uncomfortable with the third category as "fictional"
recreation (whether this is Toynbee's phrasing or Hindley's is not too
important to me). I have never advocated this particular realm of
"Historical fiction" is not his exact term, and I hope I did not seem to
imply so. He actually says, in part: "Thus history concerns itself with
some but not all the facts of human life; and, on the other hand, besides
recording facts, history also has recourse to fictions and makes use of
laws." Also: "All histories resemble the _Iliad_ to this extant [that is,
if someone reads the _Iliad_ as history s/he will find it full of
fiction], that they cannot entirely dispense with the fictional element."
Toynbee would, however, agree with those who assert that fiction is best
reserved for situations where the sheer volume of data makes precise,
detailed analysis impossible, and ancient history has anything but large
volumes of data to work with. He does, though, seem to think that fiction
has its place in historical research.
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