The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation

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JHU Press, Aug 1, 1990 - Literary Criticism - 264 pages

Hayden White probes the notion of authority in art and literature and examines the problems of meaning—its production, distribution, and consumption—in different historical epochs. In the end, he suggests, the only meaning that history can have is the kind that a narrative imagination gives to it. The secret of the process by which consciousness invests history with meaning resides in "the content of the form," in the way our narrative capacities transform the present into a fulfillment of a past from which we would wish to have descended.

 

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Contents

1 The Value of Narrativity in the Representation of Reality
1
2 The Question of Narrative in Contemporary Historical Theory
26
Discipline and DeSublimation
58
Historical Writing as a Bourgeois Science
83
The Historiography of AntiHumanism
104
Jamesons Redemption of Narrative
Time and Symbol in Ricoeurs Philosophy of History
Method and Ideology in Intellectual History
Notes
5
Index
21
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About the author (1990)

Hayden White is professor of the history of consciousness and Presidential Professor of Historical Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He is the author of Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe and Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism, both available from Johns Hopkins University Press.

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