Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I dislike having to choose a title.

It is interesting how much one can learn of a society by reading its fiction. Although the society has been dead a while, the mythology that it created is very telling of how things use to be. Take Jane Austen - every line in her novels are full of satire or social commentary (when viewed from a certain point of view). It amuses me greatly, but also, I have the opportunity to see how the age and culture are portrayed by one who lived in it. This is the end of the true upper classes in the Western world. Not long before Marx began writing, and during the upheavals in France. Napoleon was ravaging what remained of the old class system, and replacing it with his own version, all in the name of the people. What a guy. England was trying desperately to hold on to what it had left while technology boomed and labours began to demand rights.

This is the climate at the beginning of the period that I want to study. But what use is it to study only the thought - the philosophical writings - of the time period without taking into account the people? There is something more, something so actual about this time period. So many advances, so much of the technology created and the ways of existing that developed in this time were things that could be seen, things that could be touched. Unlike today, the virtual today, where advancements have little to do with the every-day lives of the every-man/woman. And when they do touch the every-day lives of people, in our modern times, they do so invisibly - a new computer program, a new kind of fruit that looks just like the old one, only bigger. &c.

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