Ruins or Stones: What are they really?

So, being the last week and all, I managed to forget about this blog post. And now, at 2:32am, lying in bed, I remembered!

So here we go!

This week we read two plays, both regarding the Haitian revolution. This follows the theme of the previous two books we read.

During the lecture today, I managed to get a little bit distracted with the twitter conversation I was having with some of the profs. Jon Beasley-Murray, who was running the lecture, talked a lot about ruins. And it has us (the tweeters) really wondering what ruins represented.

Jill Fellows stated the dilemma quite nicely in her tweet:

Jill Fellows ‏@FellowsJill13h

Do ruins suggest that nothing is permanent? They exist. They resist remodeling. I wonder if their impermanence is questionable. #artsone

On one side, ruins are proof that everything continues. Just like in our plays and novels, Sans Souci still stand. It may be crumbling, but it continues to live on.

On the other side, ruins show how nothing is permanent. Like Leonard de Mezy’s plantation in Kingdom of This World. When Ti Noel returns to the site in the third part, all that are left are stones. He himself says no one would recognize it for what it was: “Ti Noel sat down on one of the cornerstones of the old mansion, now a stone like any other stone for those who did not remember” (106).

So are ruins just a pause in the timeline of decay? Can we look at them as something on their own, or are they just a piece of something that will soon be gone?

Are they permanent?