The Great Year Theory
Seeing the past as a series of hefty dates has its uses. It arrests the flow of history and helps us take stock of the maelstrom of events whirling about the room. But handing out the trophies of public recognition to the same years, again and again, doesn’t just innocently stop up the past. It digs trenches and sets dykes right around it. It is a form of idolatry.