Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 10: No 2) >> Simms's Reading of History as Prophylactic Against American Religious Fundamentalism: The Issue of Fictive Technique in History >> Page 32

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Page 32

Secondary Scholarship | 2002
Transcription relativists and the anti-essentialists. These were joined by the common sense of
people accustomed to finding truth in the mystery of particular places, whereby
they understood that Jerusalem was more than so many acres of land at a
particular longitude and latitude, and that digging into gravesites was more than
research. They understood that genealogies were more than data, but were stories
by which one might know, but not comprehend, things; and whereby one gains
the knowledge to participate in a world rather than to overpower it and put it to
trivial uses.
The resistance has not fully surrendered. Nor shall it ever. Wherever men
and women are caught unawares by a sense of the vastness and mystery of things,
of the charming particularity of people and places, they will never be fully
convinced that everything can be reduced to numbers, and weight, their surface
facts, and their price. Simms adds the weight of an almost lost intellectual
resource to this most modern of cultural struggles.

Woodlands, Home of William Gilmore Simms
painting by J. Allen Morris