Assignment 1, September 3, 2012

a critical reflection on Georg Iggers: Historiography in the Twentieth Century. From Scientific Objectivity to the Postmodern Challenge, using images and sounds and, admittedly, some prose.

This blog post is a response to a class assignment. I do not own any of the works featured below, nor make any profits of featuring them here. This is solely for educational purposes.

what is objective history?

the course of the Empire?

the objective course of History: Emanuel Leutze,
Emanuel Leutze: Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way (mural study, U.S. Capitol), 1861, Smithsonian American Art Museum. Public Domain. Hosted by

what is objective history?

a Festschrift to archival certainty?

Wilhelm II., Address to the German People, August 6, 1914; calling the German people zu den Waffen (to take up arms) and not to betray the Vaterland.
Otto von Bismarck, private recording, Gut Friedrichsruh, October 7, 1889.
Both recordings are Public Domain. Neither of the two host websites endorses this work, or is affiliated with it.

what is objective history?

an unavoidable cataclysm?

Oswald Spengler: The Decline of the West | Ernst Juenger: Der Kampf als inneres Erlebnis
both public domain. Hosted by

in any case, it is ripe with decay:

For This…

Johann Strauß, Jr.: An der schönen blauen Donau
Op. 314, 1867, performed by Finnish orchestra Rytmi-Pojat, directed by Eugen Malmstén.

…engenders this

Horst-Wessel-Lied, 1927

both public domain. Hosted by

And what remains is

“…first and foremost, a world of silence, a ‘silence’ … that ‘swallowed up the past, all the past.'” (Spiegel: The Task of the Historian, p. 6)

Auschwitz-Birkenau, Krematorium IV, photograph by Wikimedia:Diether in 2008; Licensed under Creative Commons ShareAlike 3.0. Wikimedia:Diether is in no way affiliated with or endorsing this use of his picture.


the Postmodern Challenge

“there is nothing beyond the text” – Reb Rida.

to find out more about Jacques Derrida’s incarnation as “Reb Rida”, see The Book of Questions by Edmond Jabès (or Writing and Difference, Ch. 3 and 11)

except, of course, its rupture:

Stephane Mallarme, Un Coup de Des
Stéphane Mallarmé: Un Coup de Dés Jamais N’Abolira Le Hasard, 1897 (pictured is the 1914 edition [?]). Hosted by, Public Domain

& as the end of the picture is in the picture…

Rene Magritte: The Treachery of Images
René Magritte: La trahison des images, 1928-1929. Hosted by I do not own the copyright of this work, or intend any copyright infringement. This link is solely for educational purposes.

& as the end of the music is in the music…

John Cage: 4’33”, premiere by David Tudor on August 29, 1952, at Woodstock, New York.
Hosted by I do not own the copyright of this work, or intend any copyright infringement. This link is solely for educational purposes.

why does the closure of history

(Fukuyama or Derrida)

have to be

the end of its events? its facts? its movements?

(the text will forever articulate its others)

(and they will forever articulate the text)

This entry was posted in Assignment. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.