In White’s view, beyond the surface level of the historical text, there is a deep structural, or latent, content that is generally poetic and Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe. Front Cover ยท Hayden White . Since its initial publication in , Hayden White’s Metahistory has remained an essential book for understanding the nature of historical. Title, Metahistory: the historical imagination in nineteenth-century Europe / Hayden White. Author, White, Hayden V., Extent, dpi TIFF G4 page images.

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Although his focus on trope and narrative is far from what most historians are interested in, they are all aware of his work. Don’t already have an Oxford Academic account? If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in.

Metahistory: the historical imagination in nineteenth-century Europe

This was a difficult book for me to get through – never read literary theory, and have not read much historiography, and they both give me headaches. I think the most interesting thing about the book is how White compares such different figures as Ranke, Tocqueville, Marx and Nietzsche and in so doing shows how similar their concerns with the historical discipline were and how their responses often followed very similar lines, a perspective that is rare for figures as complex as Marx and Nietzsche who are often studied much more closely as stand-alone figures.

The name of a part is substituted for the name of a whole. The story is explained by construction of a nomological-deductive argument.

Hayden White: The Historical Imagination | Reviews in History

Views Read Edit View history. Sep 20, Wessel rated it it was amazing. Rethinking History, 9, Preview โ€” Metahistory by Hayden White.


How could historians regain their relevance? Selected pages Title Page.

Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe – Hayden White – Google Books

These are the two preliminary steps before processing the material into a plot which is argumented as to express an ideology. The larger context of historiography and writing in general is also considered. Musgrave and Lakatos Cambridge,pp.

These assumptions, White asserts, can be identified by examining the form and structure of texts themselves, providing valuable information about the attitudes of the author and the haayden in which he or she has written. These reconcilliations are symbolized as festive occasions. For instance, Arthur Marwick praised it as “a brilliant analysis of the rhetorical techniques of some famous early 19th-century historians This fortieth-anniversary edition includes a new preface in which White explains his motivation for writing Metahistory and discusses how reactions to the book informed his later writing.

In any event, I certainly fall on the withdrawn side of things – as, it turns out, did Jacob Burckhardt. Open Preview See a Problem?

In this classic work, White argues that a deep structural content lies beyond the surface level of historical texts. He was professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and held position of professor of comparative literature at Stanford University. As I wholeheartedly believe this correlation between the 19th century and the early 21st century, and as I too have studied history hoping to learn some “truths” of humanity, I was thrilled when White repeatedly found each of his eight authors grappling with a central conundrum, with which I struggle daily – action versus withdrawal.

The Historiography of Anti-Humanism”.

The chapter on Hegel is like a mental firewall, real difficult to get through. Lizz rated it really liked it Jun 18, This claim is on more solid ground, as White has always tended to favour dealing with the finished product of historians’ labours over looking at actual historical practice.


One of the main reasons that White has been given such a cool reception by historians is that his supporters such as Keith Jenkins โ€” in presenting a bowdlerised version hte White oeuvre in order to further their own agendas โ€” have regrettably done more harm than good. Furthermore, as White postulates in Metahistory: Retrieved from ” https: That is, were they basing their historical narratives in Metaphor, Irony, Metonymy or Synecdoche?

Kamil rated it it was amazing Oct 17, The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-century Europe is a work of historiography by Hayden White first published in This lead to charges that White was not a relativist, but rather, a linguistic determinist.

Sep 17, Michael rated it liked it Recommends it for: The way historians suggest to their readers why their study is important. His main argument that historiography has thus far only been literary representations of past events that just like other literature can be categorized can only be regarded as close to the truth; yet, the consequences While some parts are really hard to read, other parts are quite fun and I love White’s ironical and sometimes almost taunting writing.

Books by Hayden White. Sign In or Create an Account. Hayden White was a historian in the tradition of literary criticism, perhaps most famous for his work Metahistory: I already believe that history is not a science or even really a pseudoscience, but an art.

Hope is held out for the temporary triumph of man over his world by the occasional reco Three levels by which historians provide explanation.