Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method

Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method

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Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method by Carlo Ginzburg

More than twenty years after Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method was first published in English, this extraordinary collection remains a classic. The book brings together essays about Renaissance witchcraft, National Socialism, sixteenth-century Italian painting, Freud’s wolf-man, and other topics. In the influential centerpiece of the volume Carlo Ginzburg places historical knowledge in a long tradition of cognitive practices and shows how a research strategy based on reading clues and traces embedded in the historical record reveals otherwise hidden information. Acknowledging his debt to art history, psychoanalysis, comparative religion, and anthropology, Ginzburg challenges us to retrieve cultural and social dimensions beyond disciplinary boundaries.

In his new preface, Ginzburg reflects on how easily we miss the context in which we read, write, and live. Only hindsight allows some understanding. He examines his own path in research during the 1970s and its relationship to the times, especially the political scenes of Italy and Germany. Was he influenced by the environment, he asks himself, and if so, how? Ginzburg uses his own experience to examine the elusive and constantly evolving nature of history and historical research.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421409917
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 10/15/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
File size: 4 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Carlo Ginzburg has taught at the University of Bologna, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. The recipent of the 2010 International Balzan Prize, he is author of The Night Battles: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries and The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller, also published by Johns Hopkins.

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2013 Edition vii

Preface to the Italian Edition xv

Translators' Note xxi

Bibliographical Note xxiii

Witchcraft and Popular Piety: Notes on a Modenese Trial of 1519 1

From Aby Warburg to E. H. Gombrich: A Problem of Method 16

The High and the Low: The Theme of Forbidden Knowledge in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries 54

Titian, Ovid, and Sixteenth-Century Codes for Erotic Illustration 70

Clues: Roots of an Evidential Paradigm 87

Germanic Mythology and Nazism: Thoughts on an Old Book by Georges Dumézil 114

Freud, the Wolf-Man, and the Werewolves 132

The Inquisitor as Anthropologist 141

Notes 149

Index of Names 205

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