The Fiction of Narrative: Essays on History, Literature, and Theory, 1957-2007

The Fiction of Narrative: Essays on History, Literature, and Theory, 1957-2007

by Hayden White
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Hayden White is celebrated as one of the great minds in the humanities. Though perhaps best known for his tropological theory of discourse, White's theory of historical writing as narrativization is no less influential. Since the publication of his groundbreaking monograph, Metahistory, in 1973, White's work has been crucial to disciplines where narrative is of

Overview

Hayden White is celebrated as one of the great minds in the humanities. Though perhaps best known for his tropological theory of discourse, White's theory of historical writing as narrativization is no less influential. Since the publication of his groundbreaking monograph, Metahistory, in 1973, White's work has been crucial to disciplines where narrative is of primary concern, including history, literary studies, anthropology, philosophy, art history, and film and media studies.

This volume brings together twenty-three of White's previously uncollected essays written over a fifty-year period. These texts find White at his most essayistic, engaging a wide range of topics and thinkers with characteristic insight and elegance. Throughout his long career, from his earlier work on intellectual history and the philosophy of history to later essays dealing with poststructuralism and postmodernism, White has sought to reveal the essential relationship between history and theory.

The Fiction of Narrative gathers in one place White's important — and often hard-to-find — essays exploring his revolutionary theories of historical writing and narrative. These works, deftly introduced by Robert Doran, trace the arc and evolution of White's field-defining thought and will become standard reading for students and scholars of historiography, the theory of history, and literary studies.

Praise for Hayden White

"No other historian appears to be at the frontier of so many developments or so skillful at integrating them into traditional American scholarship in the history of ideas." — Journal of Modern History

"White is a master of critical and provocative thought." — H-Net Reviews

"White has arguably changed the course of historiography in the past twenty years... Any serious historian will need to engage the issues and answers that White raises." — Religious Studies Review

"White lays out his arguments with a clarity and rigor that few can match." — Choice

Editorial Reviews

Literature and History - David Watson
White's own three-page preface to this collection is worth the price of admission alone... The essays themselves are a treasure trove... Suffice it to say that for scholars wondering why White's reputation is so formidable they could hardly do better than to start with this collection.

KronoScope : Journal for the Study of Time - Jo Alyson Parker
The benefit of The Fiction of Narrative is that it enables us to see in one place White's development from a more traditional historian to the significant cultural critic he has become and to appreciate the range of his intellectual interests.

Choice
White lays out his arguments with a clarity and rigor that few can match.

Journal of Modern History
No other historian appears to be at the frontier of so many developments or so skillful at integrating them into traditional American scholarship in the history of ideas."—

H-Net Reviews
White is a master of critical and provocative thought.

Religious Studies Review
White has arguably changed the course of historiography in the past twenty years... Any serious historian will need to engage the issues and answers that White raises.

Literature and History
White's own three-page preface to this collection is worth the price of admission alone... The essays themselves are a treasure trove... Suffice it to say that for scholars wondering why White's reputation is so formidable they could hardly do better than to start with this collection.

— David Watson

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801894794
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
04/14/2010
Pages:
424
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Judith Butler
This quite extraordinary volume covers fifty years of thoughtful and provocative analysis by the world’s most formidable scholar of historical practice. These essays offer up Hayden White as a superb stylist, capacious, earnest, iconoclastic, dedicated to lucid pedagogy, time and again showing how history and literature are inextricably related and bringing into the open the rhetorical underpinnings of narrative and nonnarrative history. Reflecting key moments in the intellectual development of a thinker whose insights have now become indelible features of the intellectual landscape, this volume confirms White’s reputation as the ironic Vico for our times: trenchant, surprising, brilliant, indefatigable.

Fredric Jameson
Hayden White’s theoretical prominence in the areas of historiography, tropology, and narratology is well known and deservedly influential. We know him less well as a lively and astute analyst of specific texts. This collection—which ranges from historians to philosophers, from literary history to cultural analysis—is a splendid resource and a pleasure to read.

Meet the Author

Hayden White is a professor of comparative literature at Stanford University and a professor emeritus of the history of consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His books include Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe, Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism, The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation, and Figural Realism: Studies in the Mimesis Effect, all published by Johns Hopkins. Robert Doran is an assistant professor of French and comparative literature at the University of Rochester and editor of a collection of essays by René Girard, Mimesis and Theory: Essays on Literature and Criticism, 1953—2005.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >