In White’s view, beyond the surface level of the historical text, there is a deep structural, or latent, content that is generally poetic and Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe. Front Cover ยท Hayden White . Since its initial publication in , Hayden White’s Metahistory has remained an essential book for understanding the nature of historical. Title, Metahistory: the historical imagination in nineteenth-century Europe / Hayden White. Author, White, Hayden V., Extent, dpi TIFF G4 page images.

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This state of psychological malaise, triggered by a fever of scientific inquiry that only pointed out humankind’s limitations, made it practically necessary to write history in an ironic mode. Sep 20, Wessel rated it it was nineetenth-century. In doing so, he paid special attention to what he called the poetic “trope” each author used to characterize their narrative.

Noting that the best historians have played on a tension between the different layers that this can provide, he then goes on to apply this method of analysis to various 18th and 19th century historians. Maybe for the scientifically minded, studying the universe’s beginnings or the minute cosmos of an atom has the same effect.

The modes of argumentation, following Pepper’s ‘adequate root metaphors’ are nineteenth-dentury, organist, mechanicist and contextualist. The book was started, stopped, re-started, etc. You take a long enough perspective on history and it all seems inane.

I gave it a fairly cursory read for some essay research but I think I will have to give it a more thorough reading sometime in the future.

Hayden White is professor emeritus of the histories of consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In White’s view, beyond the surface level of the historical text, there is a deep structural, or latent, content that is generally poetic and specifically linguistic in nature. Michael Ermarth; Hayden White. His books and essays analyze the narratives of nineteenth-and twentieth-century historians and philosophers, suggesting that historical discourse is a form of fiction that can be classified and studied on the basis of its structure and its use of language.


Nor does he hold that there is no difference between the writing of history and the writing of fiction, or that there are no criteria for distinguishing between good and bad historiography. A condition of apparent peace, through conflict, to a peaceful social order.

Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe

Back to 12 The author is happy to accept this review and does not wish to comment further. This deeper content – the metahistorical element – indicates what an appropriate historical explanation might be.

Finally, these events resist historizication pp. Although White frequently challenges the authority that historians bestow on practises whitd as archival research or source criticism, he does not advocate doing away with them.

Hayden White: The Historical Imagination | Reviews in History

There is a fall of the protagonist and a gain in consciousness. Studies history to discern its laws like Marx. White received his B. While jargon in a work of history often seems to substitute for nineteenth-cenrury or even simply interesting thought, White’s project is complex enough that the jargon is warranted. Hayden White was a historian in the tradition of literary criticism, perhaps most famous for his work Metahistory: A very difficult book to read, but it really opened my mind and enlightened me a whole lot!

This is were our discipline and writing style came from. In pursuing his thesis, White provides a book that will be of interest to philosopher In White’s view, metahistorry the surface level of the historical text, there is a deep structural, or latent, content that is generally poetic and specifically linguistic in nature. It basically argues that historiography produces tropologically constituted representations of the past, not methodologically justified true accounts.


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Metahistory: the historical imagination in nineteenth-century Europe

It effectively becomes shorthand for very complicated ideas so that the reader can follow White has h Metahistory: Nineteenth-centurg History, 9, I expected a structuralist, linguistic examination of parts of texts but in the end his analysis is shite the different ways of real I must admit that I found this book really confusing and it took me quite a while to get through it.

As a historian himself he probably knew when writing how some aspects of his thesis would enrage those historians who take themselves to seriously. Sign In or Create an Account.

For several of the reasons given above, White’s ideas are somewhat controversial among academic historians, who have expressed both enthusiasm for and frustration with Metahistory. The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe, historical discourse can be classified into the literary patterns of tragedy, comedy, romance, and irony. How could historians regain their relevance? The Content of the Form: This article is also available for rental through DeepDyve.

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