Saturday, January 17, 2004
Authors of history
Not just this book or the rest of Kalki�s historical works, generally, as far as historical writing goes, I have come to believe in some thing now. Historical facts; collected from oral traditions, archaeological evidence, manuscripts etc.; can never completely recreate the whole truth. Therefore, one has to rely on intuition, and more importantly, ones own political and socio-cultural beliefs in order to interpret such stories for a contemporary audience. One also has to understand the current climate and figure out how a particular slant to history can contribute to progressive social discourse, and eventually, political thought. So, I feel that rather than go into a near futile odyssey to discover an objective historical truth, re-interpreters of history need to put all that effort into understanding current conditions and future aspirations of the audience.
If I ever make a historical film, I know that I would be re-interpreting history, or at least looking at past events through the eyes of some other author. For authors of historical literature and cinema, social awareness is not just essential, but is also hugely effective in taking care of two things: (1) the reality/relatability factor and (2) the fantasy/aspirational factor.
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