i wouldn’t call it an epiphany, as such, but i definitely came to understand something significant about the way i have always read historical texts that may help me in the weeks to come.
i think there’s something that divorces one from the context in which a particular thing was written, at least when it comes to reading for class and discussion.
i realize that i have always approached texts and readings as dry and straightforward, and i have tended to forget that they were written by people with personalities and agendas, who were trying to make their points as eloquently as they could to affect change, in some cases, or at least to register opinion.
in last week’s case, for instance, there were readings by the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, Karl Marx, and Heinrich Von Treitschke, and it was not until i got to class and discussion began that i understood what the three of them were really getting at. i’m glad that i figured it out, at any rate, but it’s kind of odd to realize you’ve read for an hour and didn’t really click with the material.
i understand now that i have to change the way i’m studying. at least i didn’t figure this out in week 12.