Possibly the best metaphor I have found for the tendency of history to resurface in surprising ways.  I see this as all the more reason to study it, to give us some time-deep context with which to better navigate the uncertain waters called ‘life’. 

And not be nonplussed by onion burps. 

Does history repeat itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce?  No, that’s too grand, too considered a process.  History just burps, and we taste again that raw-onion sandwich it swallowed centuries ago.


Source: Julian Barnes, A History of the World in 101/2 Chapters (1989), quoted in Justin Marozzi, The Man Who Invented History: Travels with Herodotus (London: John Murray, 2009), p. 46

Photo credit: ulleo at pixabay


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