Sunday, March 09, 2008

Time #11, WCW #6, History #9

If history could be that which annihilated all memory of past things from our minds it would be a useful tyranny.

But since it lives in us practically day by day we should fear it. But if it is, as it may be, a tyranny over the souls of the dead—and so the imaginations of the living—where lies our greatest well of inspiration, our greatest hope of freedom (since the future is totally blank, if not black) we should guard it doubly from the interlopers.

Williams Carlos Williams, “The Virtue of History” in The American Grain (1925)