Thursday, October 12, 2006

You know that you're stressed when it seems like too much pressure to save a Word document under the title 'assignment' - after all, what if you come back to it the next day, decide that it's utter crap and begin from scratch in a totally different way (been there, done that)? With major assignments (Stage III and at the 50% mark) due pretty much every week I've gradually moved from saving files as assignments to drafts to thoughts and finally, nervously, to simply 'Document 2'. I've also decided that I'm thankful that I chose English as my major and not history as it's far easier to write an English assignment. Drawing on other people's opinions is a good thing but ultimately it's all about your own and you can stubbornly criticise the very subjective arguments of others. History on the other hand is far more touchy, it, after all, makes the attempt at claiming to be objective. There's the illusory grail at the end of everything - that promise of truth and 'what actually happened'. Which is partially correct and partially bollocks as everything is subjective and some are more subjective than others. Nazi Germany is one of those things. It's still far too fresh, recent, and provocative for one to approach this still bleeding wound in western civilisation's mental psche without being very, very cautious. Each word has to be justified with care and can prompt a divergent discourse on a completely different, but still associated, historiographical debate. I had naively thought that writing my final essay on propaganda would be easy, especially having covered it in various political parties. The problem with living history is that the analytical and theoretical approach that my Political paper advocated doesn't go down particularly well. There is still a very real sense that any argument made effects the way that you are seen to view the much larger arguments - like the 'special fate' (Sonderweg) debate, or 'collective guilt', or the Holocaust. I'm beginning to feel that to do this essay justice I needed to research three seperate essay topics, since discussing the effectiveness of propaganda should almost inevitably lead to questions of race and resistance. Both of which were seperate essay topics of their own. Damn.


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