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In this classic work, White argues that a deep structural content lies beyond the surface level of historical texts. This latent poetic and linguistic content—which White dubs the "metahistorical element"—essentially serves as a paradigm for what an "appropriate" historical explanation should be.
To support his thesis, White analyzes the complex writing styles of historians like Michelet, Ranke, Tocqueville, and Burckhardt, and philosophers of history such as Marx, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Croce. The first work in the history of historiography to concentrate on historical writing as writing , Metahistory sets out to deprive history of its status as a bedrock of factual truth, to redeem narrative as the substance of historicality, and to identify the extent to which any distinction between history and ideology on the basis of the presumed scientificity of the former is spurious.
This fortieth-anniversary edition includes a new preface in which White explains his motivation for writing Metahistory and discusses how reactions to the book informed his later writing. In a new foreword, Michael S. This book will be of interest to anyone—in any discipline—who takes the past as a serious object of study. Hayden White is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, professor emeritus of comparative literature at Stanford University, and professor emeritus of the history of consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Hayden White. The Poetics of History and the Way beyond Irony. Historical Realism as Romance. Historical Realism as Tragedy. Historical Consciousness and the Rebirth of Philosophy of History. Metahistory: the historical imagination in nineteenth-century Europe Hayden V. Introduction The Poetics of History.
Metahistory: the historical imagination in nineteenth-century Europe
Carolyn J. The book urged historians to grapple with whether and how their writing creates rather than reflects reality. In so doing, he demonstrated—and the reception of his work demonstrates in turn—that historians most effectively resist theory when they seem most to engage it. Most users should sign in with their email address. If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in. To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.
Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe
Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-century Europe is a work of historiography by Hayden White first published in On the second page of his Introduction White stated:. My own analysis of the deep structure of the historical imagination of Nineteenth century Europe is intended to provide a new perspective on the current debate over the nature and function of historical knowledge. The theoretical framework is outlined in the first 50 pages of the book, which consider in detail eight major figures of 19th-century history and the philosophy of history. The larger context of historiography and writing in general is also considered.