- Taschenbuch: 464 Seiten
- Verlag: J. Hopkins Uni. Press (31. Dezember 1974)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0801817617
- ISBN-13: 978-0801817618
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 3,2 x 22,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 306.490 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Metahistory: Historical Imagination in Nineteenth Century Europe (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 31. Dezember 1974
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Metahistory is something more than a study of philosophies of history (although it is that too, and no doubt the most important work in the field since Collingwood): it is also a methodological manifesto, a more sustained argument for a deep-figural hermeneutic than has been worked out anywhere before now. Diacritics This is a daring, ingenious... tour de force. White has produced a profoundly original 'critique of historical reason.'. American Historical Review A book that will simply have to be reckoned with by all historians who have the slightest interest in the genesis and forms of historical narrative. Journal of Modern History
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This book has diminishing returns. I read the whole thing, but the book is rather formulaic. Spend more time on the Introduction than anything else. Without it you'll be lost.
Also I have little familiarity with the authors White discusses. With the ones I did know, Nietszche, Hegel, and Tocqueville, I found his commentary very interesting. But some familiarity with each author addressed would be worthwhile to enjoy it fully.
Hope it was useful. Whether or not you buy his argument, the work is definitely a modern classic.
He wrote in the Preface to this 1973 book, "I treat the historical work as what it most manifestly is: a verbal structure in the form of a narrative prose discourse... as an icon of sets of events presumed to have occurred in times past. In addition... they contain a deep structural content which is generally poetic, and specifically linguistic... which serves as the precritically accepted paradigm of what a distinctively 'historical' explanation should be... One of my principal aims... has been to establish the uniquely POETIC elements in historiography and philosophy of history... Thus I have postulated four principal modes of historical consciousness... Metaphor, Synecdoche, Metonymy, and Irony... I contend that the recognized masters of nineteenth-century historical thinking can be understood... by the explanation of the different tropological modes which underlie and inform their work." (Pg. ix-xi)
He explains, "My method, in short, is formalist. I will not try to decide whether a given historian's work is a better, or more correct, account of a specific set of events or segment of the historical process than some other historian's account of them. Rather, I will seek to identify the structural components of those accounts." (Pg. 3-4)
The philosphers/historians he examines are Hegel, Michelet, Ranke, Tocqueville, Burckhardt, Marx, Nietzsche, and Croce.
He observes, "Thus, in The Birth of Tragedy (Dover Thrift Editions), Nietzsche opposed two kinds of false Tragic sensibility: that which interprets the Tragic vision in the Ironic mode, and that which interprets it in the Romantic mode. His demolition of these two false conceptions of Tragic consciousness provided him with the means of reinterpreting Tragedy as a COMBINATION of Dionysiac and Apollonian insights, as Tragic apprehensions of the world being discharged in Comic comprehensions of it---AND the reverse." (Pg. 334) He adds, "Nietzsche's purpose as a philosopher of history was to destroy the notion that the historical process has to be explained or emplotted in any particular way." (Pg. 371)
He says, "Croce's critics failed to register adequately the qualification he had placed on philosophy's capacity to know reality and history's power to represent it truthfully. At the conclusion of his Theory & History Of Historiography, Croce denied that men could judge with any certitude the nature of their own age." (Pg. 398)
White's book will be of interest to students of the philosophy of history in the modern age.
Without a doubt, the book is brilliant. White analyzes the poetic and linguistic structure behind the writings of historians and philosophers of history. He focuses on the works of Michelet, Ranke, Toqueville, Burckhardt, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Croce. The result is a compelling look at how the methodological structure of historical writing changed through the course of the nineteenth century.
However, there is a major drawback to the work. White frequently uses a number of poetic and linguistic terms that are not standard fare for the average reader. For example, unfamiliar terms such as Metonymy, Synecdoche, Metaphor, Organicist, and Contextualist are used to describe the methodology behind various historical works. I frequently found myself lost and flipping back pages to find the definition of a particular term. This was an un-needed difficulty; the terms only served to obscure White's otherwise clear and logical arguments.
In conclusion, this highly sophisticated work is a brilliant piece of historical analysis. However, it would have been much more readable without the difficult language.