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Look and Listen: History Performed and Inscribed

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses questions on epigraphic history, aiming at shedding some light on the oral side of historiography and its meaning, especially as a medium for transmitting historical texts, and the relation between the oral performance of the historical text and its inscribed version. The relation of oral performance to inscribed text can be likened to that of digital to printed texts. Like the ancient oral presentations, the internet too is a "shortcut to fame" and is the fastest medium to transmit texts, images, music and other performative acts to a wide audience. Like dynamic local history, the digital text too is often changed, transformed and adapted to various needs. Akin to the ancient compilations and 'cycles' of mythical, poetical and historical texts, the digital text too is often compiled from different sources and presented as new; an apparent example are the Wiki spaces.

Keywords: historiography; inscribed text; oral performance



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