The protagonist of the play skylight, the playwright Antonio Buero Vallejo, wondered anxious before a few old photographs of human groups: who is this person? And that other? Time and distance had managed to blur the faces of the protagonists and made forgetting the scenarios in which they were located. The dismay of ignorance, helplessness as spectators to what is already history, brings us many times to interrogate us throughout our life, as did the character of Buero: who owns this look?, and those eyes that seem lost, what are looking for, what aim, what feel? Sometimes, even, the question goes further, trying to figure out the subsequent development of many small individual stories that make up the collective history: what will become of that? And from that? And that one? Where are they now? What we are today is the result of what we did yesterday. The best Prophet of the future is the past, said Lord Byron. Hence our need to know, our logical and legitimate curiosity to know what did who and why, told us which events and which steps have brought us, to them and to us, to where are now. Covering large periods of time, thats what historians engaged his conscientious desire. Journalists, more modestly, barely have time and ability to outline, for one, in a way, small daily events and the ephemeral presence in them of those who staged many anecdotes that will inevitably forget in the first bend of the road. What happens is that the concept of time and history has changed dramatically in very few years.
Yet in the last century, the period of time ranging from one generation to another one of the most prolific Spanish thinkers, Jose Ortega y Gasset, amounted in five decades. Today, instead, the generations occur and overlap each other almost without interruption. The historic tempo has accelerated so much that what yesterday afternoon was news today is already history and will have tomorrow morning already entered the terrible and muddy terrain of oblivion: nobody knows anyone, I should say, paraphrasing the disturbing title of a film by Mateo Gil.