Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Junk History II - The Mythistorian

Junk history is written by mythistorians rather than historians. "Mythistorian" is my coinage for new- age postmodern junk "historians" who gather data in service of a theory. Junk data in service of theory is seen by the mythistorian as invaluable and valid, whereas valid data which challenges a cherished theory is ignored, misrepresented or belittled.

The Mythistorian tends to write about "histories" rather than history. "Histories" is a weasel word used to prepare the groundwork for myth-making.

The Mythistorian is unrelentingly patronising – he or she will presume to write on behalf of the "powerless" so that their "stories can be told". Oral traditions and stories of the "powerless" are elevated to the status of documentary evidence, but only those oral traditions and stories which conform to the Mythistorian's agenda.