Bc #31

It is … an error to suppose that there has always been history because things have always happened, to suppose that writing only recorded what had happened, to regard historical time as that period in history when people recorded events in writing. It is an error because before writing was invented, nothing happened; rather things merely occurred. For something to happen, it has to be noticed and conceived as an event (process) by some consciousness. In prehistory (the term is accurate) nothing could happen because there was no consciousness capable of conceiving events. […] Only with the invention of writing, with the rise of historical consciousness, did events become possible. When we speak of prehistoric events, we are writing supplementary history and committing anachronisms. Even more so when we speak of natural history, for then we are committing historicism. History is a function of writing and the consciousness that expresses itself in writing.


(Uit: Vilém Flusser, Does Writing Have a Future? University of Minnesota Press, 1987, 8)

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