Sunday, February 25, 2018

History as Quicksilver

From the fictional 98-year-old narrator of a novel:

"Wars  make history seem deceptively simple. They provide clear turning points, easy distinctions: before and after, winner and loser, right and wrong. True history, the past, is not like that. It isn't flat or linear. It has no outline It is slippery, like liquid; infinite and unknowable, like space. And it is changeable: just when you think you see a pattern, perspective shifts, an alternative version is proffered, a long-forgotten memory resurfaces."

Kate Morton, The House at Riverton (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2006)