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The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation
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The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  133 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Hayden White probes the notion of authority in art and literature and examines the problems of meaning - its production, distribution, and consumption - in different historical epochs. In the end, he suggests, the only meaning that history can have is the kind that a narrative imagination gives to it. The secret of the process by which consciousness invests history with me ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published August 1st 1990 by Johns Hopkins University Press (first published 1987)
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Alex
Oct 28, 2007 Alex rated it really liked it
three sets of essays form this collection: one set on analyzing history as narrative and the content inherent in the form, one set looking at the ideologies that came to form the discipline of history in the nineteenth century, and one set that critiques/analyzes some heroes of white's: foucault, jameson, ricoeur.

our historiography course liked the last essay (which provides a semiological reading of The Education of Henry Adams) the best.
Abe Something
Nov 21, 2009 Abe Something rated it really liked it
Given - History is a collection of recorded events.
Given - The events of history are written down by a human.
Given - Every event in history is not recorded, only those of note.

What does this mean? It means history is a structured narrative. It means that someone chooses what events we remember. It means the past is flavored by the perspective of its author. History is closer to art than it is to science. History is a representation of events, never, because the act of writing does not allow it,
...more
María
Jan 06, 2013 María rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Síntesis: los historiadores son escritores de ficción frustrados.
Valorie
Jan 06, 2017 Valorie rated it liked it
Shelves: academic
Interesting ideas, but presented in the most convoluted and dense way possible. Hayden White was a genius, but you'd be hard-pressed to understand that because his writing reads like he decided to show off by using a thesaurus for every word besides conjunctions. And you'll need at least one thesaurus and a dictionary to understand this book. If you dedicate a ton of time to it though, it'll shake your world up.
Faez
Jun 11, 2012 Faez rated it it was amazing
Hayden White introduces himself in the last chapter of the book as a structuralist and post-structuralist and I have more than doubts about the structuralist ahistorical illusions. However, his book "The Content of the Form" is a perfect introduction to the field of narrative discourse in fiction and history. The book offers clear, deep and comprehensive introductions to some of the most demanding figures in the field. The chapters on Foucault, Fredric Jameson (yes even this secretive Marxist), ...more
Miss
May 30, 2014 Miss rated it really liked it
My favourite book of Hayden White. This collection of essays gives you a more thought-through idea of White's central ideas, a bit more polemical than his older works but that's what makes the essays more thrilling to read. Do you want to know why historians often abhorr Hayden White? Read this book, he basically smashes historiography's basic assumptions of scientism, objectivity and neutral writing.
mahatma
Mar 07, 2016 mahatma rated it really liked it
Shelves: office
menurut saya,
ini memang kumpulan esai yang ditulis untuk mengumpulkan pendapat pemikir sejarah sebelum dia [droysen, foucault, jameson, dan ricoeur:], dan juga pendapatnya sendiri mengenai pendapat-pendapat itu tadi.
mengikuti review teman-teman di GR, saya pun memulai membaca bab terakhir [the context in the text:], sesudah membaca intronya.
ya baru di intro dan bab terakhir itu saja saya membaca buku ini.
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Hayden White (born 1928) is a historian in the tradition of literary criticism, perhaps most famous for his work Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe (1973). He is currently professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and he recently retired his position of professor of comparative literature at Stanford University.

White received his B.A. from Wa
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