History

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Mary Kate Hurley at In the Middle has an interesting post on history and the latest narrative jump in Heroes (links in original):

Hiro seems to be playing a role that’s difficult to imagine. Hiro’s influence in the past — pointing Takezo Kensei toward his “destiny”, hoping to restore a timeline somehow made different by his presence there. Hiro remarks on the way in which “History” writes stories — and has in fact already written the one he’s in — yet his work in the past (if you can call it that) creates the very stories he’s claiming as a kind of inherited tradition.

I guess what’s fascinating here is the way in which Hiro’s position is that of the disembodied “History” he speaks of when he remarks that “History has already written that story.” Of course, as viewers (co-conspirators?) we know that Hiro is only partially correct. History hasn’t written the story — or more precisely, hasn’t written it yet. What’s intriguing is that History — in the form of Hiro — has already heard the story – and knew it, in fact, in advance of arriving on the scene as an historical agent.

Heroes, I think, takes an interesting position vis a vis history and the role the subject can play in it (whether or not the writers are aware of it, though I’d like to think they know exactly what they’re doing). History arrives from the future (literally in this case) and inscribes a narrative, a trajectory, where before were inert forces, empty lives and silent stones. JJC writes below that in encountering Barber rock at Avebury, My son and I touched a megalith’s cold side and felt our own desires. Hiro’s dilemma in this episode of Heroes is that he knows history must be written as he has already heard it — yet his desire is that it be written differently, perhaps even Otherwise.

What I find interesting here is the “desire” to revise that plays out in Heroes (maybe) and perhaps even in Lear or as it may play out in different forms of historical conception: Beowulf vs Gawain, for example or in (re)presentations of futures.

Hypertext can play with a persistent recalling or revision of an event, simply by rewriting the same event in two different ways or providing a different set of contexts for that event.

In Heroes, Sylar will want to either find the onramp back to an original trajectory or secure entrance to a different path altogether. But I still find he possibilities of time play in narrative an underdeveloped possibility in filmic space and here I’m talking nuance not suggesting possible simulacrum. There may indeed be an evil twin. But what are the relations?

I observe now that the “casino” has become a conduit of dreaming.


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