Coherence and the Longing for Modernity in Literary Historiography, or: Why History and Historicism Are Two Things

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Abstract

In a metahistorical perspective, the present articles demonstrates that identifications of radical rupture in history often work as an attempt to deny the role of the historical within the humanities and especially within the discipline of comparative literature; it furthermore argues that it also influences the possibility of general cultural criticism because it presupposes certain ontological assumptions of time and history and a specific idea of what ‘modern society’ is. The article concludes by discussing two strategies for a more coherent notion of literary history in C.S. Lewis’ historiographical essays and Bruno Latour’s theory of science respectively. This leads to the claim of the inevitability of history within the humanities: One cannot get dispose of it, even if that were desirable; luckily that is not even the case.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRes Cogitans
Volume14
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)85-103
ISSN1603-8509
Publication statusPublished - 18. Nov 2020

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