A Response to Trouillot

One of the most striking aspects from chapter one of Trouillot’s Silencing the Past is the partition of the concept of history into two categories — the facts of the matter and the narrative that coincides with those facts. Often there is a discrepancy between the facts and the narrative, leading to controversy surrounding the actual events. Trouillot also explains the impact of narratives themselves, and states that one of the functions of a collectivity in a society is to distinguish between the accepted narrative and the fictitious. Trouillot places an emphasis on the role of power in the distillation of a historical narrative and outlines why historical theories such as positivism and constructivism are flawed in their viewpoints.

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