Tuesday, October 21, 2008
How did two democratic nations end up with such different mechanisms and perspectives on historic preservation? As a class, you guys summarized Barthel’s book with great thoroughness. Issues of authenticity and commercialism are central to this work. I especially liked debates between you about how history should be rendered for display. If tourism is built on pleasure then won’t it always cause problems for historic preservation? Not all of history is pleasing and uplifting. In fact, much of it is scary and depressing. How do we reconcile these two things when we participate in preserving history? Kristen raised the issue of school groups. I think we should ponder whether our 21st conception of childhood inhibits our displays of history.
I want to congratulate everyone on identifying Young's main argument: preservation is personal. I agree with everyone that Young’s humor and wit convey why we should care about the world around us, above us, and below us. I also think we should ponder a bit more about Amanda’s question she posed on Shelby’s blog. What does this format allow Young to do that he wouldn’t be able to do otherwise? Some curse brevity but are their some benefits to being forced to limit your words?