𝌎History Described Played

So much for the transmission of texts and their combination. The Tower of Babel was dismantled brick by brick, quantified, and rebuilt. A question-and-answer game leads to the upper stories, the chambers, the details of its appointments. This suffices for the historian who practices history as a science.

However, the luminar offers more. Not only was an encyclopedia of inconceivable dimensions created in the catacombs, it was also activated. History is not only described, it is also played. Thus, it is summoned back into time; it appears in images and persons. Both scholars and artists must have been at work, even clairvoyants who peered into crystal balls. At midnight, when I call up one of the great scenes, I am directly participating in what is virtually a conjuration.

Certainly there are objections. My dear dad generally refuses to employ this part of the luminar; it offends his sense of historical precision. But then how precise is historiography – say, Plutarch's? The great speeches of kings and generals before a battle? Was he present? He must have put the words into his heroes' mouths. And why not? Besides, I often hear better things from the luminar. And the sources of the era that introduced speaking machines are terribly meager.

β€” Eumeswil