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History Is Bunk


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When an account of an event is recorded, then there is history. After that, there is the use and abuse of history. My favorite work of Friedrich Nietzsche has been the essay, The Use And Abuse Of History, translated by Adrianne Collins. (A citation or reference is completed by it's translator; even the title can't be certain: "On the Use and Abuse of History for Life", " History in the service and disservice of life", " On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life", "On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life". There may be others and, if you want a real shock to the system, read within and compare one translated work with another. You will then and only then understand the problems of German-to-English translation.)


According to this essay, historical treatments may come in three forms: the monumental, antiquarian and critical.


In short, with respect to monumental history, the subject is "the rare and classic"; for the antiquarian, it is "the traditional and venerable"; for the critical, it is that which "judges and condemns."


I hope this helps.

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