THE DECLARATION OF 1844

I immensely enjoyed the docudrama about the history of the waltz and the father-and-son composers most famous for it.1 Each person watching this piece of musical history, this articulation of the past within media culture, this historical-narrative documentary, will take away their own particular emphasis of the interpretation of events in the story. Narrative has become one of the two or three most difficult words in the English language, say some theorists, and historical narrative is necessarily a mixture of adequately and inadequately explained events, a congeries of established and inferred facts, a representation and an interpretation that passes for an explanation for the main components of a whole series of events. Something happens on the way to the screen from the books, journals, the variety of historical-print resources . -Ron Price with thanks to 1ABC1 TV, 11:00-12:00, “The Waltz King,” 29 June 2008( BBC Wales, 2005)

This evocation of the past
through powerful images,
moving words, colourful
characters, in a closed,
single, linear world with
verifiability and truth like
some esoterically mysterious
religion and commentators on
some sacred texts, performers
of rituals for a populace little
interested in nuances, little need
for scholarly, scientific, measured
webs of history found in the books.

And so we all take away from these
histories as cinematography where
being aloof, distanced and critical
seem impossible, where we are for
a time prisoners of history at twenty-
four frames a second. I see 15/10/44
in the Dommayer’s Casino at Hietzing,
Vienna where Johann Strauss II made
his declaration of independence, his debut,
and six months before--the Báb made His
declaration and so commenced the most
turbulent period of the Heroic Age of the
Baha’i Era and the opening of the most
glorious epoch in the greatest cycle which
the spiritual history of the human race has
yet witnessed on this vast and tortured planet.

Ron Price
30 June 2008
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married for 41 years,a teacher for 35 years; a Baha'i for 48