Official history vs. history in art

Zain Nensey
Week 4, Blog Entry #1

1. Both official history AND the history reflected in art are important. Official history is the statement of cold, hard, facts, the story as the story is supposed to go. The official history is intended to give us an idea of the situation and how it happened. Yet there is a flaw with official history- it itself is a form of art that is influenced by the people who wrote it. The cliché goes that the victors write the history, which is true. I recently read a book in which a great hero is transported to another dimension, a dimension where he is one of the greatest of villains, a man so evil that only his master can outdo him in cruelty. He defects to the other side, which slowly falls apart after its leader is captured, and the villains of the story take control of the government. The moment they do, the side of good is immediately relegated to being considered a terrorist organization. They are continually lambasted in public, especially our dimensional traveler, who is seen as a traitor by the government. In the end, our hero is forced to turn to strike down his former master because the man was about to take the role of the head of government and chief of state, becoming all-powerful in essence. Although not alone, he has very few people on his side, and they are the last people he would choose to send out on combat missions. Only his win allows the dimensional traveler have the story go his way once again. The story, however, does not show the form of history as art. History as art revolves mainly around a commentary of the social life of an entire country at the time. Stories can be great commentaries about our society. One of my personal favorite examples of this is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. When I read it, it seemed that the Ministry of Magic was an awful lot like our own government here in the United States- it had a leader who refused to believe there was a problem, a defamation or outright indifference towards those who were willing to point out the problem, and a problem that the current people in power are completely unable to solve, or are unwilling to solve it, though the real world trends towards the former, whereas the book trended towards the latter. Official history has it’s uses, but it can not always be relied on.

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