Memoirs, Personal Journals and the Scribes of Memory
By OMTimes Publishing
The book is the most classic and traditional way humanity uses to record knowledge in a logical order.
Unlike documenting the realities of specific periods, writing personal histories can significantly contribute to the eternalization of traditions, perspectives and points of view, and even hereditary lineages.
These stories can become valuable assets for the future (historical reports and anthropological studies, for example). Personal Stories are important especially when cataloged with the intent of preservation. In many ways, these personal stories guarantee a place in universal memory, bringing to the front stage the input of individuals and even of small groups.
Many historical reports a close look into certain realities and experiences are essential, otherwise, some of the more vulnerable registries, would be susceptible to the disappearance.
So, do not immediately disregard the impulse you may have of registering your life story (auto-biography), or the documenting of an extraordinary personal experience (a Memoir), or the story of your family (biography) for future generations.
A Personal Memoir as a Historical Photography
Writing a book about your own life story is a wish that many of us have. We went through so many obstacles, challenges, falls, and triumphs.
Furthermore, writing your own story is a real therapy and self-knowledge tool. By putting our memories on paper, we “clean up” everything we live, and we have the opportunity to reframe history itself – that is, to see it in a different light.
Those who think that recording their own journey in a book are only the privilege of famous or prominent people are making a big mistake.
According to Jacques Le Goff, we have new ways of reading history, primarily regarding its social aspects. News perspectives changed the way we see the past, and again the way of perceiving history has been changing methodologically.
The current belief that history is the property of the Winner side. Meaning that is recorded by the powerful, and that it only tells their tales of achievement and triumph.
Knowing how everything happened turned out to be another novelty and a massive challenge for most of us, with new thinkers from historiographical time in the world focusing on the History of Mentalities.
History of Mentalities: a Closer Look into Historical Reports
There is a school of thought that believes that the historical accuracy of a period can be easily reconstructed using the formally recorded historical registries and the perception of the ordinary people who lived during that specific time and geographical space.
The practice of the history of Mentalities goes beyond the concept of what we understand as conventional history. Initially, it is a brilliant way to meet other human beings and their personal outlooks upon their realities. Many Schools of History have been incorporating personal Journals, chronicles, and even local tales (Oral storytelling) into the historical lexicon. They are powerful tools to reconstruct these periods’ real social background and dynamics.
In other words, the act of writing and registering your personal experiences in a memoir are not a new fad. We believe we are all storytelling creatures. They are vital for our understanding of our world and how we relate to facts and situations.
The History of Mentalities brings the personal element’s interface (the individual outlook) to the mainstream collective registries. This school of thought builds a bridge and a needed dialogue between these two levels of interpretation of historical realities. This dialogue brings depth and perspective to any analysis. It wipes away the linear nature of the accounting of events.
Many of the records from the Witch hunt trials of the Middle ages are precious resources, and we are revisiting them. They light different angles and viewpoints due to the insertion of social adaptability, traditions, habits, continuity, and ruptures. The interesting point in all of these is that the new perspectives enrich our understanding of reality. Especially when personal journals and external chronicles, and even Individual memoirs are the backdrop. They can be of immense help to the more profound understanding of these controversial times.
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