The history of Literature is in question. And the history of History is in question too. A play is a blueprint of an event: a way of creating and rewriting history through the medium of literature. Since history is a recorded or remembered event, theatre, for me, is the perfect place to "make" history - that is, because so much of African-American history has been unrecorded, dismembered, washed out, one of my tasks as playwright is to - through literature and the special strange relationship between literature and real-life - locate the ancestral burial ground, dig for bones, find bones, hear the bones sing, write it down.
- Suzan-Lori Parks, "Possession"
The play of power in the production of alternative narratives begins with the joint creation of facts and sources for at least two reasons. First, facts are never meaningless: inded, they become facts only because they matter in some sense, however miminal. Second, facts are not created equal: the production of traces is always also the creation of silences. Some occurences are noted from the start; others are not. Some are engraved in individual or collective bodies; others are not. Some leave physical markers; others do not. What happened leaves traces, some of which are quite concrete - buildings, dead bodies, censuses, monuments, diaries, political boundaries - that limit the range and signficance of any historical narrative. This is one of the many reasons why not any fiction can pass for history: the materiality of the socio-historical process (historicity 1) sets the stage for future historical narratives (historicity 2).
-Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History