For no matter how much a work of art may appear to be a historical datum, and
thus a possible object of scholarly/scientific research, it is always the case
that the work says something to us, and it does so in such a way that its
statement can never be exhaustively expressed in a concept.
Will Postwar be nothing but ‘events,’ newly created one moment to the next? No links? Is it the end of history?
The principal backup for historiography is not philosophy but the arts, which serve to develop and modify a group’s self-image by, for example, apotheosizing its heroes, diabolizing its enemies, mounting dialogues among its members, and refocusing its attention.
Complaints about the social irresponsibility of the intellectuals typically concern the intellectual’s tendency to marginalize herself, to move out from one community by interior identification of herself with some other community-for example, another country or historical period, an invisible college, or some alienated subgroup within the larger community.
What you do is first said to you the other day. And what
you say becomes an event as it escapes from you.
America is not a young land: it is old and dirty and evil before the settlers, before the Indians. The evil is there waiting.