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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Missed Career

There was a time when I was contemplating a career as an academic historian. There were several reasons why I decided otherwise, but an important one was that I realized that historians are nothing else but storytellers bound to specific traditions and academic rules. Beside dates, names and all kinds of artifacts here is no such thing as a historic truth. It's all subjective interpretation. How could it be anything else? Ask three people on the street who have watched an accident, and you get three different stories. Sten Gagnér, my beloved academic teacher, told me that a historian's goal must be to find out "how it really was". That sounded simple enough, but it dawned on me pretty soon that it was impossible.

1 comment:

  1. Achim ThiemermannMay 12, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    As a lyricist who tries to capture all rational, spiritual, and emotional aspects of a moment in history--a fleeting situation, an event, a lifetime of experiences--you're possibly the most accurate historian of them all.