Rebecca Solnit “A Field Guide to Getting Lost” (Penguin 2005)

Art history in particular is often cast as an almost biblical lineage, a long line of begats in which painters descend purely from painters. Just as purely patrilineal Old Testament genealogies leave out mothers and even fathers of the mothers, so these tidy stories leave out all the sources of inspirations that come from other media and other encounters, from poems, dreams, politics, doubts, a childhood experience, a sense of place, leave out the fact that history is made more of crossroads, branchings, and tangles than straight lines. These other sources I called the grandmothers (59).

Rebecca Solnit “A Field Guide to Getting Lost” (Penguin 2005)

I think sometimes that I became a historian because I didn’t have a history, but also because I was interested in telling the truth in a family in which truth was an elusive entity. It could best be served not by claiming an authoritative and disinterested relationship to the facts, but by disclosing your own desires and agendas, for truth lies not only in incidents but in hopes and needs. The histories I’ve written have often been hidden, lost, neglected, too broad, or too amorphous to show up in other’s radar screens, histories that are not neat fields that belong to someone but the paths and waterways that meander through many fields and belong to no one (58-59).