The Past Within Us- Tessa Morris Suzuki

“Historical truthfulness involves an effort to understand [the] chain of relationships: to trace, as far as possible, the series of mediations through which narratives and images of the past reach us, and why we respond to them as we do.  In doing this we are confronted with the recognition that the stories and images we receive about the past are shaped by the ideas and interests of the people who communicate them, by the nature of the media through which they are communicated, and by our own position in the present. Such chains of relationship may create obscurity as well as clarity, incomprehension as well as understanding, indifference as well as empathy…[it] involves a kind of ongoing dialogue…” (Morris-Suzuki, 2005: 28)

Tessa Morris Suzuki’s pocket sized (but deep) book re-places “the past” with/in the bodies who transmit “it”. In exploring how “popular” media representations (from Walter Scott to Japanese comics books and Korean war memorials) of past events continual re-create diverse relationships and text-ures between times and spaces. Her focus on multi-media, internet space, and dialogue suggests ways in which to approach the past, in the future.

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