There are a thousand insidious ways in which you can come to identify with the object of study. … It’s reassuring, because identifying with something, no matter how it happens, offers a kind of relief. But it’s dangerous because this mirroring of the self stunts the imagination, inhibits the mind and stifles curiosity by confining […]
…history remains first and foremost an encounter with death. A. Farge, The Allure of the Archive, 8
I am reminded of how much the setting for my archival research has become entwined with the discoveries I made at its tables. N. Zemon Davis, “Forward,” The Allure of the Archive (Yale, 2013), xiii.
A paradox lurks at the center of any archive. One the one hand, archives strive to keep the past alive, or at least on life support long enough for somebody to revive a sliver of that past, which sliver has lain comatose on a shelf locked away in a vault. Yet, on the other hand, […]