The 12th century was arguably the most ‘storytelling’ century of the medieval period. If the Dark Ages – which were not dark at all – were centuries …
I marvel at history and it’s commentaries.
I love this guys blog; he’s always got really interesting stuff about the middle ages and books and stuff like that.
Today I was once again struck by the huge swath of time, say the 11th or 12th centuries, ￼that he generalizes to say that writers authors told a lot of stories￼￼￼￼￼.
It is interesting to me that a short two page essay, for example his post, could have anything to say that was remotely accurate about the “eleventh and 12th centuries of Europe”.
This goes to a very philosophical heart in me, One that just appears now and again, like a did today￼￼￼.
Think about your life. In fact, think about just the past month of your life, say. Think about all the information, all the experience you’ve had, the perception and conception of time, how a month can seem like it takes forever to pass, and yet once it passes it seems very quick. Think about all the thoughts you had about the world and all the events that were going on just in your hometown or the city in which you live. Think about all the multitudinous situations that arise every moment even three blocks from your place of living.￼￼￼
Think about how difficult it would be to summarize what happened this last month, just even in your own personal life, think about what happened at work, think about what happened in your local businesses, in your city news, in your state or country, in your nation. Think about what happened at the party that was at your local college fraternity house.
Think about what sense is being made when I go to describe any one of those situations. How accurate that description is.
Now think about I’m extending from maybe a couple hours out to only a month. The accuracy of any of my descriptions, whether it be merely today, the past week or even the month, is exponentially distorted even within one hour of description. Let alone if I try to describe or summarize what happened in the past month.
As well, i submit, I would say that there is no difference in the capacity for description between what I say happened merely in this past hour, or this past month. Whether I am describing the situation of walking my dog around the paths and open space and sidewalks around my house, or whether I am attempting to describe or summarize the events of that same half hour on any street in my city.
Consider The capacity in each description is exactly the same. There is not something “local” to my description of me walking my dog, and then some thing that is more extensive in my describing what is happening on any city block in Lodo during the same period of time￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼. There is exactly the same amount￼ Of information being condensed, there is exactly the same amount of information being conveyed, there is exactly the same extent which is being communicated. There is neither more nor less information in my summary and description of the past 10 feet that I have walked with my dog￼￼, then there is of my summary and description of what is happening in all the bars in downtown Denver off of Colfax.
Consider how you might understand the various capacities and extents automatically and naturally. As well, consider by what standards are you being able to assess and perhaps rebut the situation that I am describing in this post.
Now contemplate how this linked post is supposing to describe a situation of 1000 years ago. Ponder that he is summarizing and describing a situation that occurred over some 150 years￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼.
I for one cannot even describe with any amount of accurancy what happened in my own life of the past 5 years, let alone a whole continent over 150 years.
What exactly is being communicated. ￼What is truly happening?