Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Presentism vs. accuracy.

One of the most exasperating features of many "historical novels written these days is the distorting use of presentism. It is typified by a writer's sometimes ludicrous insertion of 21st century manners, standards, and attitudes into stories set in purportedly historical eras.
Just now, I came across a quotation that well defines this plague
that has been brought about by either political correctness or sloppy research:
"In apocalyptic style, he (Jonathan Clark) says that presentism 'reaches back into the past to silence its message'."
[Stephen Howe; Fade to Blue; Independent (London, UK); Jul 12, 2003.]

No comments: