A Place in History: Social and Monumental Time in a Cretan by Michael Herzfeld

By Michael Herzfeld

Michael Herzfeld describes what occurs whilst a paperwork charged with old conservation clashes with a neighborhood population antagonistic to the kingdom and suspicious of tourism. concentrating on the Cretan city of Rethemnos, as soon as a middle of studying below Venetian rule and later inhabited by means of the Turks, he examines significant questions confronting conservators and electorate as they negotiate the "ownership" of historical past: Who defines the earlier? To whom does the previous belong? what's "traditional" and the way is that this decided? Exploring the meanings of the outfitted setting for Rethemnos's population, Herzfeld reveals that their curiosity in it has extra to do with own histories and the fast social context than with the formal background that pulls the conservators. He additionally investigates the population' social practices from the standpoints of family and relatives staff, political organization, local, gender ideology, and the results of those on attitudes towards domestic possession. within the face of modernity, the place culture is an item of either reverence and commercialism, Rethemnos emerges as an incredible ethnographic window onto the ambiguous cultural fortunes of Greece.

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Extra info for A Place in History: Social and Monumental Time in a Cretan Town (Princeton Studies in Culture, Power, History)

Sample text

To understand social time in these terms, and to understand how it THE TOWN OF THE TALE 15 affects the development o f a historic conservation program such as th at of Rethemnos, it is not enough simply to record acts of resistance against conservation alone. On the contrary, we must see how time is appre­ hended in a wide variety of contexts. In these terms, we shall see that the monumental version of time is in fact extremely vulnerable to creative reuse by the same social forces that it seeks to control .

The designs show increasing neglect, with rusty rain stains and partial over­ p ai nting, or have been replaced. A new past is eclipsing the aging present. SPACES AND COVERS : THE ARCHITECTONICS OF RESPECTABILITY Rethemnos is small, and conscious of it. People know each other-not as well as in a small village, to be sure, but well enough to necessitate some of the same stratagems of secrecy. As in the mountain village, I was told that groceries should be wrapped so that people would not see what we were going to eat at home.

Once he had made himself economically self-sufficient, how­ ever, he wrote to tell them not to do this any more . Agricultural activities are dirty and tiring, and contravene notions o f urbanity. While this certainly does not prevent even relatively wealthy townsfolk from tending their rural properties, it gives a sense of ambiva­ lence to even the most enthusiastic endorsement of rural life. It is not the way of the politia. THE INTRU S IVE STATE : CoNS ERVATION AS DECAY Politia, as I h ave s aid, is both a place and the way of life that it embodies.

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