|Trans||Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften||15. Nr.||November 2003|
5.12. Narration in Literature
and Writing History
Gabriella Hima (Budapest)
The starting point of the papers in our section was the tight connection between text and culture. We assumed that culture is a question of the textual representation - in literature just as much as in the writing of history. If culture is unavoidably text-dependent, there can be no strict separation between fact and fiction: therefore literature and history are connected with each other in an interdisciplinary fashion.
Of the 26 papers of our section 6 were presented by historians, the others by literary theorists.
All papers focused on the contemporary postmodern thought (especially on the theory of Hayden White) which contests the idea of a single historical univocal narrative or truth, instead it considers history as a space with gaps and silences waiting to be filled in with public or private narratives. History is at once the "Grand Narrative", "fairy tale", the search for "cause and effect". But history is a paradox attempt as well, namely to give an account, with incomplete knowledge.
Another focus of the papers in our section was memory, which both magnifies and effaces real events and also creates its own truths. Memory as narrative makes events real and as story telling links public and private history, because we perceive life through time and language as a continuous narrative.
According to the thematic outline of the Conference, various
complex questions were raised about history and literature as
the writing culture: Does our literary memory fully rely upon
the Canon as a memory system - as Harold Bloom stated? If we are
to consider that "literary" is not necessarily a property
of texts, then how can we make a clear distinction between factual
and fictional, between cultural memory and canonical literary
texts? What is the difference between a "document" and
"fiction" in narrative presentations of the past, or
the "truth" in memory and the truth of memory?
© Gabriella Hima (Budapest)
5.12. Narration in Literature and Writing History
Sektionsgruppen | Section Groups | Groupes de sections
Inhalt | Table of Contents | Contenu 15 Nr.