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Historically Accurate Writing - The Importance of Getting It Right

            In "The History of the Siege of Lisbon," author Jose Saramago stresses the importance of historically accurate writing. His protagonist, Raimundo Silva, questions the authenticity of the accuracy of the book he was assigned to proof read. He notices an obvious blunder about the scene where the Christians emerge victorious over the Moors, this infuriates him. This leads him to question the author's credibility as a historian. Silva is fully aware historians have certain obligations to provide an unbiased opinion about the facts they present to their readers. They don't have the luxury to stretch the truth like he observed in the book he is working on. Raimundo Silva emphasizes the importance of the reader's ability to distinguishing between the parallels of fact and fiction in what is assumed to be historically accurate writing, according to the author's interpretation of history. When we choose to read a history book to study, we often do so with the assumption that the work has a certain authenticity or that it conveys the "truth" about a particular period. Yet we must realize that historians must also tend to another problem, the fine line between historicizing fiction and fictionalizing history. In other words, for both the novelist and historian, the meaning lies not in a chain of events but in the writer's interpretation of what occurred. This should encourage readers to think critically about the literary texts.
             It is important that a historical event is remembered the same by all. Every person has a different perspective on occurrences because every person has personal bias and opinions. That is what makes every person an individual. Personal prejudice can come from ethnicity and background, people from different environments and races tend to think contrary. Also, age and gender can affect the personal opinions of an individual. For example, a young woman would tend to think differently than an old man on women's suffrage.

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