‘We used to invent words and then yield to their power. No knowledge would be possible without words though, in the process, words would often grow into self-mastered entities, into obstacles that interpose between us and the ‘real world’. They would bestow on us both proximity to, and enstrangement from, the essence of things, whereas spiritual independence presupposes a state of semantic vigilence, a rejection of the tyranny wrought by these unavoidable lexical intermediaries.
‘History’ is such a misleading word …
Bringing history closer to us, therefore, implies a process of selection in the first place — an extremely drastic selection after which the remaining part is, quantitatively speaking, infinitesimal as compared to the real ‘charge’ of the past.
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