Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Iranian History

And yet--the near-destruction of the European Jews, in a very brief span of time, by a sophisticated European nation using the best technology available was, it seems, an event that requires constant reexplanation, not least because it really did shape subsequent European and world history in untold ways.

This is from Anne Applebaum's article "Tehran's Holocaust Lesson". The Iranian government just concluded a conference devoted to discussing the "myth" of the holocaust.

Our perceptions of the past have a real bearing on how we see our present. In some sense, I'd say, President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and I don't live in the same world. How could we communicate?

I would qualify Applebaum's claim that the Holocaust "requires constant reexplanation." It's not so much an ever expanding explanation that is needed. We in the West need an ever more profound meditation on the nature of what happened. We need to feel how evil it was.

6 comments:

mccaleb said...

flu, huh?

Comes from reading too much Aristotle. It ruins your constitution.

So, we had class with the Fink today...I asked him very wittily if Mr. Hanson was "finking" out. ...he didn't appreciate the humor.

I do hope you're back tomorrow.

I might write more snarky witticisms later, but I am off to a concert.

mccaleb said...

Ahaha. I'm back. ...with nothing to say, really. The concert was good, though. It was all Bach. It all sounded the same for a while, until I realized that listening to Bach requires snapping out of one's modern shell, abandoning the need for quick, crashing cacophony and rousing themes and instead settling into the subtlety of delicately interwoven harmonies. It's like watching old movies, or the five-hour Pride and Prejudice. I guess that's why old people like Bach--they either never got into the snap-snap fast-paced lifestyle or are wise enough to see that there's more to life than that. I kept thinking of your "sound of God thinking" post...

I have no idea why I'm blabbering on. I actually have to go finish that Dante assigment, which I intend to whine about not because of its lenghth but because of the content of that letter. I can't make it out at all. Except for the part where he blatantly undermined everything Aristotle thought about friendship....

mccaleb said...

Magister? I think there's something wrong with whatever it is that makes it possible to link the name of the commenter to his/her site; at least I remember you remarking that "faithness" had no link and I've noticed that I can get to neither Father Barry's nor my site by clicking on our names.

mcvey said...

... give me Beethoven or give me death.

mccaleb said...

point conceded. Bach is wonderful, but Beethoven is more conducive to youth, methinks...

rebel with -- a dash said...

no update in a while, Magister. What's that noise? Oh, is that you busy grading mounds upon mounds of in-class essays? All illegible and illogical? Oh dear, we feel so bad for you. These things come back to haunt you, you know. I can't wait 'til you read my paper with all the rebel dashes. Their purpose in life is solely to annoy you.

Does it comfort you to know that you're making the life of a little dash meaningful? --Or are you too busy thinking about the eyeache you're getting from grading so very many papers?