Infinite Mischief? History and Literature Once Again
Like many of us, I’d thought the latest series of intellectual jousts between history and literature that began, as did Representations, in the 1980s had ended in a chivalrous exchange of scholarly weapons. Literary scholars highlighted the historical embeddedness of their texts while historians recognized the literary aspects of their narratives. Not all literary scholars and not all historians, true, but enough of them to make common parlance of the useful ‘‘blurring’’ of disciplinary boundaries. With that in mind, I volunteered last year to teach in the new MA program in History and Literature offered by Columbia and two universities in Paris, with the commendable and, I thought, unobjectionable goals of mixing literary and historical methodologies and questioning the shifting ontologies of history and literature themselves.
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- February 8, 2015