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ERIC Number: EJ907427
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Sep
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0039-3746
An Essay in the Aid of Writing History: Fictions of Historiography
Cohen, Sol
Studies in Philosophy and Education, v23 n5-6 p317-332 Sep 2004
In what follows I explore the question of fictionality in history writing. First, I venture into the unfamiliar genre of "ego-histoire" and make my own professional training in the tenets of positivist or realist historiography an object of theoretical reflection and critical analysis. Then as a way of dealing with the literary dimension of written history, I make a canonical work in history of education an object of rhetorical analysis. Finally, as another way of coming to terms with the "fictions of historiography," I revisit one of my own productions and make it an object of metacritical consideration. My central theme is that historiographical realism alone will not suffice, that historians are as dependant upon literary invention as upon documents, that history cannot be written without the aid of the "fictions of historiography," and that the difference between the historian and the novelist is narrower than we may have been accustomed to think. I further argue that attention to the literary or rhetorical dimension of history is long overdue in history of education, where it flourishes unacknowledged. I conclude that historical writing is not just a literary pastime and the issue remains: how to come to grips with fictionalizing and the truth claims of historiography.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A