Figural Realism: Studies in the Mimesis Effect / Edition 1

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Overview

In his earlier books such as Tropics of Discourse and The Content of the Form, Hayden White focused on the conventions of historical writing and on the ordering of historical consciousness. In Figural Realism, White collects eight interrelated essays primarily concerned with the treatment of history in recent literary critical discourse. "'History' is not only an object we can study," writes White, "it is also and even primarily a certain kind of relationship to 'the past' mediated by a distinctive kind of written discourse. It is because historical discourse is actualized in its culturally significant form as a specific kind of writing that we may consider the relevance of literary theory to both the theory and the practice of historiography."

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
White lays out his arguments with a clarity and rigor that few can match.
Religious Studies Review
A collection of essays by one who 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.

— Fred W. Burnett

Choice

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

Southern Humanities Review
[A] fascinating meditation on modernism or, more accurately, the effects of modernism... In this book, White confirms that he remains an active and important thinker.

— David W. Price

The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism

Hayden White... is the most prominent American scholar to unite historiography and literary criticism into a broader reflection on narrative and cultural understanding.

The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism
Hayden White... is the most prominent American scholar to unite historiography and literary criticism into a broader reflection on narrative and cultural understanding.
H-Ideas, H-Net Reviews - Johan W. N. Tempelhoff
[White] is a master of critical and provocative thought... Figural Realism... deserves to be read by historians in search of rejuvenating a sense of theoretical enlightenment.
Religious Studies Review - Fred W. Burnett
A collection of essays by one who 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.
Southern Humanities Review - David W. Price
[A] fascinating meditation on modernism or, more accurately, the effects of modernism... In this book, White confirms that he remains an active and important thinker.
Johns Hopkins Guide
Hayden White. . . is the most prominent American scholar to unite historiography and literary criticism into a broader reflection on narrative and cultural understanding.
Booknews
White (history of consciousness, UC-Santa Cruz) explores the treatment of history in recent literary critical discourse, in this collection of eight interrelated essays. He addresses issues surrounding historicism, the New Historicism, connections between literary theory and historical writing, and the history of the Holocaust. An underlying theme is that the distinction between literal and figurative speech is a conventional distinction and can be understood by its relevance to the sociopolitical context in which it arises. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801865244
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,412,121
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Hayden White is professor emeritus of the history of consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His books include Metahistory, Tropics of Discourse, and The Content of the Form, all available from Johns Hopkins.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Literary Theory and Historical Writing 1
2 Historical Emplotment and the Problem of Truth in Historical Representation 27
3 Formalist and Contextualist Strategies in Historical Explanation 43
4 The Modernist Event 66
5 Auerbach's Literary History: Figural Causation and Modernist Historicism 87
6 Freud's Tropology of Dreaming 101
7 Narrative, Description, and Tropology in Proust 126
8 Form, Reference, and Ideology in Musical Discourse 147
Notes 177
Index 201
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