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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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歴史は勝者によって書かれる

 
「歴史は勝者によって書かれる」というのを英語でいうと、History is written by the victorsとなるようで、チャーチルの言葉ともされているようです。一方、ジョージオーウェルはHistory is written by the winnersと書いています。



大英博物館覧のレビューがフリーペーパーのMetropolisに載っていたのですが、その冒頭でこの表現を使っています。

A HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN 100 OBJECTS
BY C.B. LIDDELL
History, so it’s said, is written by the victors—but it’s also collected by them, as the tremendous collection of the British Museum testifies. Tokyoites have been getting a taste of this collection at the exhibition, “A History of the World in 100 Objects.” Like many empires of the past, the British went out of their way to collect the artifacts and totems of the countries they lorded it over.

History is written by the victorsという表現から想像できるように、西洋中心主義の歴史観としてこの展覧会を厳しく見ている批評でした。

This exhibition is essentially how the hegemonic West views world history. The clearest clues come in the final section, where we have a kitschy-looking “Russian Revolutionary Plate” (1919), a gentle piece of gay rights advocacy in the Hockney print (1966), a credit card from the Middle East (2009), and a war shield from Papua New Guinea decorated with a beer logo (1990-2000).

We are essentially being told that communism is dead—or at least laughable—and that even Islam, with its strictures against usury, is power- less against the credit-driven global economy, in which Western values of sexual liberation and consumerism are the true and only gods.


展覧会ではなく書籍の方のレビューですが、ニューヨークタイムズは他の美術館がヨーロッパの絵画コレクションばかりの中、このような展覧会を好意的に評価ししています。受け取り方はいろいろのようです。

Stuff That Defines Us
By CAROL VOGELOCT. 28, 2011

IT was a project so audacious that it took 100 curators four years to complete it. The goal: to tell the history of the world through 100 objects culled from the British Museum’s sprawling collections. The result of endless scholarly debates was unveiled, object by chronological object, on a BBC Radio 4 program in early 2010, narrated by Neil MacGregor, director of the museum. Millions of listeners tuned in to hear his colorful stories — so many listeners that the BBC, together with the British Museum, published a hit book of the series, “A History of the World in 100 Objects,” which is being published in the United States on Monday.

*********

That kind of success might inspire other museums to invent variations on the “100 Objects” theme, but none can match the breadth of collections at the British Museum. And those holdings don’t include paintings, unlike other institutions with comprehensive collections like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Louvre.

“In all other museums European pictures overrule the rest of the collection,” Mr. MacGregor said. “It means that we are the only one of these encyclopedic museums where Europe is not dominant in the narrative. That’s a huge advantage if you’re trying to make sense of the world today.”

History is written by the victorsという表現に関して、以下のようなQuoteを見つけました。

History is written by the victors, but it's victims who write the memoirs.
Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, in Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) : Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts (2008), p. 197.

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Yuta

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