Confronting the Burden of History Literary Representations of the Past (Okładka miękka)

Confronting the Burden of History Literary Representations of the Past

Confronting the Burden of History Literary Representations of the Past (Okładka miękka)

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This collection of essays has grown out of a project undertaken at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków in cooperation with the International Visegrad Fund. The inspiration for the project came from the work of Professor Hayden White, who kindly accepted the project coordinators’ invitation to give a lecture and conduct a workshop for scholars from Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The resultant material has been divided into four sections which exemplify diverse aspects of fiction’s engagement with history. In the opening essay, “Historical Truth, Estrangement, and Disbelief,” Professor White offers an outstanding analysis of Saul Friedlander’s Nazi Germany and the Jews as an example of the kind of historiography which may be capable of giving an account of historical events whose appalling nature defies representation and thus eschews older conventions of historical scholarship. The other essays in the first part analyse contemporary novels which seek alternative modes of narrating the past. The articles in Part Two examine novelistic instances of the intersection of history and ordinary lives, focusing on the convergences and divergences between collective and individual narratives. Part Three is concerned with Jewish history, while Part Four focuses on attempts to represent history as a space of memory by means of literature, music and the visual arts.

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