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Re: The authenticity debate-philosophy

Poster: Matthew Allen Newsome <mnewsome@warren-wilson.edu>

On Wed, 27 Nov 1996 WzrdKing@aol.com wrote:

> I walk
> around events and see what I choose to see and so far I have been far more
> surprised and delighted than dissapointed. In fact, I've been enjoying myself
> immensly.

Indeed! More rigourously authentic re-enactment societies exist, but out 
of neccesity tend to be more narrow.  Only a society such as our own that 
allaws for various levels of play can offer such wonderful delights.  I, 
as an individual, can spend hours of time researching and studying every 
aspect of my persona and try to be as authentic as possible.  In this 
case, a 14th century Scot.  In a stricted re-enactment society, I would 
go to events and see other people who have also researched 14th century 
Scots.  I would learn a lot about that one place and time, but I would 
miss the oportunity to say, dress 16th century at this event, or step out 
of my persona and fight Renassiance rapier, or see this wonderful 
Landschanecht outfit, or talk to this Oriental fellow over here, or see 
Mistress Sew-and-sew in her emaculate Elizabethan gown.
Yes, in period my persona would never have seen these things.  But I 
enjoy the opportunity to see and do them now.  Going to an event requires 
one to suspend their disbelief for a while, like you do when you see a 
play.  You have to beleive that what you are experiencing makes sence in 
your persona's world.  In a way, this is very medieval.  The medieval 
mind worked differently than ours in that when we see a thing and ask 
"why or how did this happen?"  they saw a thing and asked "what does this 
mean?   How does this fit in with my world?"  
So, I ask everyone to practice a little medieval thinking and find a way 
to fit everything in to your world.

P.S.--  I hope there are no newbies lurking hereabouts who will be scared 
away by all this talk of authenticity.  Just a note to any who may be 
here-- authenticity is something you work towards, not a requirement 
before you can play.

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