By Michael Herzfeld
Michael Herzfeld describes what occurs while a forms charged with historical conservation clashes with a neighborhood population adversarial to the nation and suspicious of tourism. concentrating on the Cretan city of Rethemnos, as soon as a middle of studying lower than Venetian rule and later inhabited through the Turks, he examines significant questions confronting conservators and electorate as they negotiate the "ownership" of historical past: Who defines the prior? To whom does the previous belong? what's "traditional" and the way is that this decided? Exploring the meanings of the equipped surroundings for Rethemnos's population, Herzfeld unearths that their curiosity in it has extra to do with own histories and the speedy social context than with the formal heritage that draws the conservators. He additionally investigates the population' social practices from the standpoints of loved ones and kinfolk staff, political organization, local, gender ideology, and the consequences of those on attitudes towards domestic possession. within the face of modernity, the place culture is an item of either reverence and commercialism, Rethemnos emerges as a massive ethnographic window onto the ambiguous cultural fortunes of Greece.
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Extra resources for A Place in History: Social and Monumental Time in a Cretan Town (Princeton Studies in Culture, Power, History)
Thus ended over four centuries of Venetian rule ( 1 2 1 0-1 669 ) . A t the end o f the Veneti an era, Rethemnos boasted a population of about 8 ,500 (Nenedakis 1 9 8 3 : 79 ; Manousakas 1 949 : 58 gives 8 ,03 8 , from the Trivan census ) . By late 1 646, the town, its citizenry depleted by more than four-fifths , was in Turkish hands . So, too, was most of the rest of Crete, although Candia ( lraklio) held out until 1 6 69. The Turks imme diately consolidated military and administrative presence in the town .
Women are the locus of male pride and the means of their collective fall. A woman once sued her husband for divorce on the grounds of the latter' s adultery. Everyone in Rethemnos, men and women alike, \vas furious with her: it was a disgraceful embar rassment (dropi) 1° to expose the town in this way when so many other men did the very same thing without being shamed in public ! In the male dominated discourse of public discussion, women cannot win. They are always the source of h umiliation, whether by virtue of their own sexual downfall or on the rare occasions when they dare challenge men's actions .
Indeed, rather like farmers who distribute their crops among many tiny fields so as to avoid total dependence on one zone (see Forbes 1 9 76), so in the political ecol ogy of small-town life most Rethemniots expect to get caught from time to time for moonlighting, tax evasion, or mispricing-but they calculate the resulting fines into their balance sheets. Such calculations must remain highly evasive, however, since neighborhood rivals might easily stoop to informing. Prosperity reinforces this growing fragmentation of social life.
A Place in History: Social and Monumental Time in a Cretan Town (Princeton Studies in Culture, Power, History) by Michael Herzfeld