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The Past as Text : The Theory and Practice of Medieval Historiography - Gabrielle M. Spiegel

The Past as Text

The Theory and Practice of Medieval Historiography

Paperback

Published: 15th October 1999
For Ages: 22+ years old
Ships: 7 to 10 business days
7 to 10 business days
$53.25

"Spiegel, in elegant and thoughtful fashion, and with a deep understanding of the period, provides us with a skillful analysis of the sources, their inter-connections, and the motives of their authors, which makes this a very useful and worthwhile book." -- "Virginia Quarterly Review"

Postmodernism has challenged historians to look at historical texts in a new way and to be skeptical of the claim that one can confidently retrieve "fact" from historical writings. In "The Past as Text," historian Gabrielle M. Spiegel sets out to read medieval histories and chronicles in light of the critical-theoretical problems raised by postmodernism. At the same time she urges a method of analysis that enables the reader to recognize these texts simultaneously as artifice and as works deeply embedded in a historically determinate, knowable social world. Beginning with a theoretical basis for the study of medieval historiography, Spiegel demonstrates her theory in practice, offering readings of medieval histories and chronicles as literary, social, and political constructions. The study insightfully concludes that historians should be equally aware of the discursive nature, literary modes, and ideological investments of such texts and the social circumstances to which they were applied and by which they were generated. Arguing for the "social logic of the text," Spiegel provides historians with a way to retrieve the social significance and conceptual claims produced by these medieval or any historical writings.

" "The Past as Text" is successful in its entirety, as parts and as a whole. It is lucid, acute, deeply humane in the author's ongoing project of understanding the medieval past and the history-making present. It is a reader-friendly book in the very best sense. It is good theory and good history: postmodernism without apocalyptic posing, exhilarating and humane." -- Nancy F. Partner, McGill University

Spiegel, in elegant and thoughtful fashion, and with a deep understanding of the period, provides us with a skillful analysis of the sources, their inter-connections, and the motives of their authors, which makes this a very useful and worthwhile book. * Virginia Quarterly Review *

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Theory
History, Historicism, and the Social Logic of the Textp. 3
Orations of the Dead/Silences of the Living: The Sociology of the Linguistic Turnp. 29
Towards a Theory of the Middle Groundp. 44
In the Mirror's Eye: The Writing of Medieval History in North Americap. 57
Practice
Political Utility in Medieval Historiography: A Sketchp. 83
Genealogy: Form and Function in Medieval Historiographyp. 99
The Reditus Regni and Stirpem Karoli Magni: A New Lookp. 111
The Cult of Saint Denis and Capetian Kingshipp. 138
History as Enlightenment: Suger and the Mos Anagogicusp. 163
Social Change and Literary Language: The Textualization of the Past in Thirteenth-Century Old French Historiographyp. 178
Medieval Canon Formation and the Rise of Royal Historiography in Old French Prosep. 195
Notesp. 213
Indexp. 287
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780801862595
ISBN-10: 0801862590
Series: Parallax: Re-visions of Culture and Society
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 15th October 1999
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0  x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.41