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Can someone help me understand the story, "REMAKING HISTORY" by, Kim Stanley Robinson

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nurse2007 | eNoter

Posted August 4, 2013 at 7:07 PM via web

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Can someone help me understand the story, "REMAKING HISTORY" by, Kim Stanley Robinson

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted August 5, 2013 at 7:50 AM (Answer #1)

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With the story ‘Remaking History’ by Kim Stanley Robinson try to read the prose as if it really was a history piece, with a historian’s eye. It concerns the actual writing of history itself, the events, the characters and the plot unfolding. The author seems to want us to actually contemplate what history is, and to weigh that up against what is written for entertainment (fiction.) In the story "Remaking History" (written in 1988), an  actors’ group are producing a movie based around the years of  1979-1981 and the scary events of that time (the Iranian hostage crisis.) They can’t seem to agree about the facts or the need to portray them accurately and start quarrelling over it. So already you can make notes around the issue of subjectivity and perception. How does each character react? We know the directors’ opinion on the subject - he has informed them that  they can ‘correct’ an earlier, more trivial piece of work which he seems to despise, seeming to want to be a true professional, more a war correspondent journalist than an entertainer. yet he too thinks nothing of blurring the boundaries and you need to think about what that might mean for viewers (hence future generations as word gets passed down and possibly,truth gets corrupted) Apparently "when making a film, true doesn't mean an absolute fidelity to the real" . The trouble, as we found out after Hitler died, sometimes the real facts don’t come out for generations, hence the need for us to constantly ‘remake’ or maybe ‘retell’ history, constantly keeping an open mind. The story continues developing the theme to show that the history actors try to portray is already different to our own culture because of our perceptions. The hostages were rescued, news crews moved on to other more breaking stories, President Carter got re-elected, and already we are looking backwards from a new vantage point, finding it difficult to imagine events as the people on the ground saw them at the time. How will that story seem in far distant future time  and will history record our old perceptions or our new ones? Different people have different views, hostages and their families,revolutionaries and terrorists,politicians,voters, and victim's families such as dead hostages or the family of the police woman shot in London's Iranian terrorist attack. Eventually, it seems we all go for an ending that can be interpreted loosely either way. Some people call that sitting on the fence, others call it being open minded.

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