Location: Greensboro, NC, United States

Monday, January 12, 2009

Historical Deconstruction Silliness

Greensboro's favourite Mormon science fiction writer, Orson Scott Card, tells of one of the latest manifestations of historical ignorance:

Just in case you had any doubt about the ignorance of "educated" Americans, I'd like to quote a line to you from a review in the Publishers Weekly of Dec. 8, 2008.

PW is the news-and-reviews magazine of the publishing and bookselling trade – reviews in PW are quite influential in helping booksellers decide which books to order and stock in their stores.

So I'm reading a review of the historical mystery The Bellini Card by Jason Goodwin, and the reviewer refers to "a portrait of Mehmet the Conqueror (who reclaimed Constantinople from the Christians in 1453), painted by the legendary artist Gentile Bellini."

What matters here is the parenthetical phrase, in which the reviewer actually makes the appalling claim that the Muslim conquest of Constantinople in 1453 somehow represented a reclaiming – which implies that Constantinople had once been Muslim and was being retrieved from Christian rule.

Here are the facts – which once were known to every college graduate, if not to every schoolchild: Constantinople was never Muslim until the Turks flat-out conquered it in a naked act of aggression in 1453.

Read the rest here:


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