Friday, March 22, 2013
The Landscape of History | John Lewis Gaddis
"A YOUNG MAN STANDS hatless in a black coat on a high rocky point. His back is turned toward us, and he is bracing himself with a walking stick against the wind that blows his hair in tangles. Before him lies a fog-shrouded landscape in which the fantastic shapes... lay partly visible... The impression it leaves is contradictory, suggesting at once mastery over a landscape and the insignificance of an individual within it... It's impossible to know whether the prospect confronting the young man is exhilarating, or terrifying, or both."
"I've led you to believe all this time that it's we in the present who are contemplating them as they contemplate the past--or, as I've called it, the landscape of history. But what if we've got that wrong, and they're actually facing the future? The fog, the mist, the unfathomability, could be much the same in either direction."
John Lewis Gaddis' The Landscape of History pages 1 and 150.