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PRINT January 1992

EDITOR'S LETTER

Ida Panicelli

WE’RE FINALLY HERE: 1992. Let the party begin.

The 500th anniversary of the “discovery” of America has fascinated both sides of the Atlantic, almost as though we expected to look in the mirror and see a different face, or at any rate a face with a different history. The display of anything and everything connected to Columbus and his fateful voyage will last out the year, but Washington, D.C., hasn’t even bothered to wait for January 1: it began its ceremonies in October with the “Circa 1492” exhibition at the National Gallery of Art. In this issue, Homi K. Bhabha discusses the difficulties a museum faces in approaching the problems of Western history over the last five centuries, and of the way that history has been inscribed. Who holds the tools for writing history? Who dictates the Word that becomes Law? Who looks at whom, and how can the “official” version be undone? What the West saw

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