The editors introduce the core areas of current debate within historical theory, bringing the reader as up to date with continuing debates and current developments as is possible. The book is divided into three parts, covering: • Part I. Foundations: The Theoretical Grounds for Knowledge of the Past • Part II. Applications: Theory-Intensive Areas in History • Part III. Coda. Post-Postmodernism: Directions and Interrogations This important handbook brings together in one volume discussions of the role of modernity, empiricism, realism, post-modernity and deconstruction in the historian's craft. Chapters are written by leading writers from around the world and cover a wide spread of historical sub-disciplines, such as social history, intellectual history, narrative, gender, memory, psycho-analysis and cultural studies, taking in, along the way, the work of thinkers such as Paul Ricouer, Michel Foucault and Hayden White. The Sage Handbook of Historical Theory is an essential resource for practicing historians, and students of history, and will appeal to scholars in related disciplines in the social sciences and humanities who seek a closer understanding of the theoretical foundations of history.
Chapter 13: The Boundaries of History and Fiction
The Boundaries of History and Fiction
The relationship between history and fiction is a lively and troubled one. Historians insist that what they write is not fiction, as it must retain a fidelity to the available historical sources, those residues from the past we have inherited in the form of documents, images, memories, stories, rituals, material objects, landscapes, and recorded sounds. At the same time, they sometimes envy fiction writers’ abilities to imagine and perhaps reconstruct the emotional and intimate aspects of the past that historians find it so hard to recover in the archive. Many of us yearn to be novelists as well, and a surprising number of historians turn their ...