History Out of Joint: Essays on the Use and Abuse of History

History Out of Joint: Essays on the Use and Abuse of History❴PDF / Epub❵ ☆ History Out of Joint: Essays on the Use and Abuse of History Author Sande Cohen – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk In History Out of Joint, Sande Cohen considers the ways in which historical narratives summon up a past and lay down a future in the ever multiplying intellectual debates of contemporary public cultur In History Out of Joint, Sande Cohen considers of Joint: ePUB ¹ the ways in which historical narratives summon up a past and lay down a future in the ever multiplying intellectual debates of contemporary public culture As competing factions advance contradictory principles to validate or discredit their preferred accounts of the past and the present, Cohen argues that the fundamental question of how these principles themselves should be addressed of what truly constitutes the use or abuse of history has been pushed aside Taking Nietzsche s idea of a simultaneous production and anti production of culture as his History Out MOBI :¿ starting point, Cohen proposes that the real abuse lies in the attempt to establish one version of history by effacing every other and shows how this now prevalent idea of historiography reduced to a political resource has itself become a normal starting point of such abuseCohen looks first at some current struggles to control public history, examining popular newspaper accounts of events in geopolitics and art, different views of the modern historian s role as a public authority, and the function of anecdote and its relationship to historical writing He then turns to the works of Out of Joint: Epub à several major figures in contemporary critical theory, including Derrida, Lyotard, and Deleuze and Guattari Against the belief that their ideas led primarily to escapism, blindness, or endless deferral, Cohen demonstrates how their concepts of an affirmative yet critical event can be applied specifically to counter contemporary abuse of history and, in doing so, to resist social passivity, the nihilism and eschatological catastrophe of which they describe. I think we ve found the limits of my appreciation of postmodernism History Out of Joint focuses predominantly on how historiography is used and abused by contemporaries to affect modern public life and to shape the content and form of the future For Cohen, this done primarily through the use of language and rhetoric, and it is an intrinsically violent and restricting process Building off of Nietzsche, Cohen envisions language as a sort of desperate crutch Certain fashionable phrases or con I think we ve found the limits of my appreciation of postmodernism History Out of Joint focuses predominantly on how historiography is used and abused by contemporaries to affect modern public life and to shape the content and form of the future For Cohen, this done primarily through the use of language and rhetoric, and it is an intrinsically violent and restricting process Building off of Nietzsche, Cohen envisions language as a sort of desperate crutch Certain fashionable phrases or concepts are set up as transcendental signifiers, saving us from the consequences of the dissolution of our discourses By canonizing these terms and the ideas around them, historians and their appropriators do violence to the present Cohen repeatedly uses militaristic language surrounding the writing of history It is a war over claimants in combat over legitimacy, narration itself is a transpolitical maneuver, rhetoric has devoured objectivity Prose is deployed like any tactical weapon Contemporary society is filled with semantic despotism and despotic and fashionable judgments The most dangerous thing about this selective violence, Cohen argues, is that it is being actively used to shape the course of the future, by deciding what of the past and present is important and what is not Cohen explores this is two ways In the first half of the work, he deals in case studies of this desperate narration In the first two chapters, Cohen attempts to show how narratives about Taiwan and the contemporary art scene both use misfigured narratives about the past in order to shape opinions about the future In reality, he argues, Taiwan is island whose identity is nebulous and multifaceted, the concept of Taiwan itself is a phrase in dispute Cohen accuses Tom Plate of the Los Angeles Times editorial page of violently suppressing such messiness in favor of a grand narrative of One China that ought to and always has included Taiwan The island nation is instead portrayed as a brash and irresponsible upstart, always threatening the burgeoning ties of friendship around the Pacific Rim Cohen offers up similar accusations of rhetorical repression to the Los Angeles Times book reviewers and art critics, whom he accuses of trying to shape a future narrative of the city by offering up a selective and anti intellectual view modern and past culture All of these writers, Cohen states, are abusing history to violently enforce their own visions of the future The second half of Cohen s work delvesinto philosophy, demonstrating how the philosophies of Jean Fran ois Lyotard, Roland Barthes, Gilles Deleuze, and others poke holes in the traditional claims of history He closes by suggesting that if history is to continue as a discipline, it will have to take on a radically new form, less about idealization and restriction andintent on its disjunctions and gaps.Cohen s work is intriguing, and he offers up important caveats to any easy application of the past to the present His point that such applications can restrict and repress as easily as liberate is well taken Yet at the same time, I think that the argument is kinda of problematic First of all, for a book about history it remains rather remarkably unhistorical The vast majority of Cohen s conclusions come from the Los Angeles Times or the New York Times, from legal scholars and editorialists rather the historians Making the leap from biased narratives in a single modern editorial page to the immanent need for the death of historiography as we know it seems rather extreme Additionally, Cohen s central claim that modern forms of history writing are too dangerous in a society that uses historical telling to exclude claimants from the future is assertedthan explored Cohen highlights the potential danger inherent in history very clearly, but he never explores or indicates how any of this could be new or distinctive in the modern world The political use of language and history to shape the future certainly does not seem unique to contemporary culture, and Cohen refrains from any sort of comparative analysis that could potentially highlight new ways in which it is being used today Finally, by cherry picking such isolated examples, Cohen leaves no room to explore how multiple channels of discourse may combat against the violent repression he fears Tom Plate at the Los Angeles Times is not the only person writing about Taiwan, and the newspaper s book review page is certainly not the only way the people of Los Angeles read about literary culture By ignoring the huge number of platforms on which modern discourse takes place, Cohen seriously weakens his argument Ironically, much of the argumentative strength of History Out of Joint comes from its use of violent rhetoric and selective examples, the very thing he is trying to fight against Caveat This is a dense book, and one that assumes a pretty solid knowledge of postmodern philosophy I m pretty sure I understood the gist of his argument, but there is certainly a possibility that Dr Cohen s work had some subtleties that I failed to grasp

History Out of Joint: Essays on the Use and Abuse of
  • Hardcover
  • 320 pages
  • History Out of Joint: Essays on the Use and Abuse of History
  • Sande Cohen
  • English
  • 01 July 2018
  • 0801882141