Prose on intrahistoria

Unamuno posits that what happens in the world is an entirely separate concept than what is recorded in history. And the most important ingredient in history, or the historical procession, is the intrahistoria of everyday events. The world is most composed of the mundane and its garments, let us call them, are the grandiose events of war and macroeconomics. Rather than a nation of government and management, he forges a nation of the innumerable occurrences that bodies in a region universalized do daily.

Intrahistoria is writing a paragraph, conversing with a stranger in a market, smoking a cigarette and dabbing it out on a wall, dying and having your funeral attended by the people you do know and some people you do not know. It is banal and boring and supremely important. The commonest agents of intrahistoria are the poor people, who have, since the species first emerged from the savannahs of Africa, comprised the bulk of humanity. Their beliefs inform history more than an official letterhead ever will; their resistances inform history more than any governed social experiment.

A headache is a world-historical event. Romanticism is the engine of human development. The vices, in their very eradicability, inspire the virtues. An addict on the street carries in his thinking what messiahs of past epochs carried in theirs, an immigrant is a pilgrim unstudied, and a pregnant woman who dies in childbirth is a short-lived Helen. The ordinary who think themselves insignificant are, therefore, what the 19th century called “great men” in microcosm, in a field of microcosms—oblivious of their own worth in the scheme of things, divided and active. Intrahistoria is the democratic understanding of eternity before its time.

~ by Jeremy on June 26, 2013.

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