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The Value of Narrativity in the Representation of Reality

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The Value of Narrativity in the Representation of Reality

HAYDEN WHITE

Starting from the Barthesean proposition that narrative 'is simply there like life itself . . . international, transhistorical, transcultural' ( 1977: 79), Hayden White sets out to analyse the value attached to narrativity in three forms of historical representation of reality: annals, chronicle and historical narrative. Following Hegel, White associates the development of historical narrative with the conflict created by the construction of a system of morality or human law and the historian's desire to endow events recounted with a manifest moral meaning or purpose. This moralizing intent forces the historian to confer some kind of 'authority' on the description of events, to impose on them a plot structure and to provide a closure for the otherwise open-ended and amoral historical data. White's article undermines the traditional assumption that historical narrative is superior to annals and chronicles and puts in question its purported objectivity; for, as he contends, the 'value attached to narrativity in the representation of real events arises out of a desire to have real events display the coherence, integrity, fullness, and closure of an image of life that is and can only be imaginary'. In this fight, the idea that history is truthful and objective and literature subjective and false becomes doubtful: history is presented as one among many kinds of narrative discourse, and as such subjective, provisional, partial and incomplete, a human construction whose validity depends on the social conventions and authority under which it is written.




Hayden White's approach to history is an instance of the application of the post-structural and deconstructive methods to nonfictional discourse. The issues he raises are highly polemical, dealing as they do with the central assumptions of Western culture concerning discursive strategies. White's works analyse history as narrative and rhetoric, not as a transparent, neutral mapping of reality.

To raise the question of the nature of narrative is to invite reflection on the very nature of culture and, possibly, even on the nature of humanity itself. So natural is the impulse to narrate, so inevitable is the form of narrative for any report of the way things really happened, that narrativity could appear problematical only in a culture in which it was absent -- absent or, as in some domains of contemporary Western intellectual and artistic culture, programmatically refused. As a panglobal fact of culture, narrative and narration are less problems than simply data. As the late (and already profoundly missed) Roland Barthes remarked, narrative 'is simply there like life itself . . . international, transhistorical, transcultural.' 1 Far from being a problem, then, narrative might well be considered a solution to a problem of general human concern, namely, the problem of how to translate knowing into telling, 2 the problem of fashioning human experience into a form assimilable to structures of meaning that are generally human rather than culture-specific. We may not be able fully to comprehend specific thought patterns of another culture, but we have relatively less difficulty understanding a story coming from another culture, however exotic that culture may appear to us. As Barthes says, 'narrative . . . is translatable without fundamental damage' in a way that a lyric poem or a philosophical discourse is not.

This suggests that far from being one code among many that a culture may utilize for endowing experience with meaning, narrative is a metacode, a human universal on the basis of which transcultural messages about the nature of a shared reality can be transmitted. Arising, as Barthes says, between our experience of the world and our efforts to describe that experience in language, narrative 'ceaselessly substitutes meaning for the straightforward copy of the events recounted.' And it would follow, on this view, that the absence of narrative capacity or a refusal of narrative indicates an absence or refusal of meaning itself.

But what kind of meaning is absent or refused? The fortunes of narrative in the history of historical writing give us some insight into this question. Historians do not have to report their truths about the real world in narrative form; they may choose other, nonnarrative, even anti-narrative, modes of representation, such as the meditation, the anatomy, or the epitome. Tocqueville, Burckhardt, Huizinga, and Braudel to mention only the most notable masters of modern historiography, refused narrative in certain of their historiographical works, presumably on the assumption that the meaning of the events with which they wished to deal did not lend itself to representation in the narrative mode. They refused to tell a story about the past, or, rather, they did not tell a story with well-marked beginning, middle, and end phases; they did not impose upon the processses that interested them the form that we normally associate with storytelling. White they certainly narrated their accounts of the reality that they perceived, or thought they perceived, to exist within or behind the evidence they had examined, they did not narrativize that reality, did not impose upon it the form of a story. And their example permits us to distinguish between a historical discourse that narrates, on the one side, and a discourse that narrativizes, on the other; between a discourse that openly adopts a perspective that looks out on the world and reports it and a discourse that feigns to make the world speak itself and speak itself as a story.

The idea that narrative should be considered less as a form of representation than as a manner of speaking about events, whether real or imaginary, has been recently elaborated within a discussion of the relationship between 'discourse' and 'narrative' that has arisen in the wake of structuralism and is associated with the work of Jakobson, Benveniste, Genette, Todorov, and Barthes. Here narrative is regarded as a manner of speaking characterized, as Genette expresses it, 'by a certain number of exclusions and restrictive conditions' that the more 'open' form of discourse does not impose upon the speaker. 3 [ . . . ].

This distinction between discourse and narrative is, of course, based solely on an analysis of the grammatical features of two modes of discourse in which the 'objectivity' of the one and the 'subjectivity' of the other are definable primarily by a 'linguistic order of criteria.' The subjectivity of the discourse is given by the presence, explicit or implicit, of an 'ego' who can be defined 'only as the person who maintains the discourse.' By contrast, 'the objectivity of narrative is defined by the absence of all reference to the narrator.' In the narrativizing discourse, then, we can say, with Benveniste, ''Truly there is no longer a 'narrator.' The events are chronologically recorded as they appear on the horizon of the story. Here no one speaks. The events seem to tell themselves.'' 4

What is involved in the production of a discourse in which 'events seem to tell themselves,' especially when it is a matter of events that are explicitly identified as 'real' rather than 'imaginary,' as in the case of historical representations? 5 In a discourse having to do with manifestly imaginary events, which are the 'contents' of fictional discourses, the question poses few problems. For why should not imaginary events be represented as 'speaking themselves'? Why should not, in the domain of the imaginary, even the stones themselves speak -- like Memnon's column when touched by the rays of the sun? But real events should not speak, should not tell themselves. Real

events should simply be; they can perfectly well serve as the referents of a discourse, can be spoken about, but they should not pose as the tellers of a narrative. The lateness of the invention of historical discourse in human history, and the difficulty of sustaining it in times of cultural breakdown (as in the early Middle Ages) suggest the artificiality of the notion that real events could 'speak themselves' or be represented as 'telling their own story.' Such a fiction would have posed no problems before the distinction between real and imaginary events was imposed upon the storyteller; storytelling becomes a problem only after two orders of events dispose themselves before him as possible components of his stories and his storytelling is compelled to exfoliate under the injunction to keep the two orders unmixed in his discourse. What we call 'mythic' narrative is under no obligation to keep the two orders of events distinct from one another. Narrative becomes a problem only when we wish to give to real events the form of story. It is because real events do not offer themselves as stories that their narrativization is so difficult.

What is involved, then, in that finding of the 'true story,' that discovery of the 'real story' within or behind the events that come to us in the chaotic form of 'historical records'? What wish is enacted, what desire is gratified, by the fantasy that real events are properly represented when they can be shown to display the formal coherency of a story? In the enigma of this wish, this desire, we catch a glimpse of the cultural function of narrativizing discourse in general, an intimation of the psychological impulse behind the apparently universal need not only to narrate but to give to events an aspect of narrativity.

Historiography is an especially good ground on which to consider the nature of narration and narrativity because it is here that our desire for the imaginary, the possible, must contest with the imperatives of the real, the actual. If we view narration and narrativity as the instruments by which the conflicting claims of the imaginary and the real are mediated, arbitrated, or resolved in a discourse, we begin to comprehend both the appeal of narrative and the grounds for refusing it. If putatively real events are represented in a nonnarrative form, what kind of reality is it that offers itself, or is conceived to offer itself, to perception? What would a non-narrative representation of historical reality look like?

Fortunately, we have examples aplenty of representations of historical reality which are non-narrative in form. Indeed, the official wisdom of the modern historiographical establishment has it that there are three basic kinds of historical representation, the imperfect 'historicality' of two of which is evidenced in their failure to attain to full narrativity of the events of which they treat. These three kinds are: the annals, the chronicle, and the history proper. Needless to say, it is not narrativity alone which permits the distinction among the three kinds, for it is not enough that an account of events, even of past events, even of past real events, display all of the features of narrativity in order for it to count as a proper history. In addition, professional opinion has it, the account must manifest a proper concern for the judicious handling of evidence, and it must honor the chronological order of the original occurrence of the events of which it treats as a baseline that must not be transgressed in classifying any given event as either a cause or an effect. But by common consent, it is not enough that a historical account deal in real, rather than merely imaginary, events; and it is not enough that the account in its order of discourse represent events according to the chronological sequence in which they originally occurred. The events must be not only registered within the chronological framework of their original occurrence but narrated as well, that is to say, revealed as possessing a structure, an order of meaning, which they do not possess as mere sequence.

The annals form, needless to say, completely lacks this narrative component, consisting only of a list of events ordered in chronological sequence. The chronicle, by contrast, often seems to wish to tell a story, aspires to narrativity, but typically fails to achieve it. More specifically, the chronicle usually is marked by a failure to achieve narrative closure. It does not so much conclude as simply terminate. It starts out to tell a story but breaks off in medias res, in the chronicler's own present; it leaves things unresolved or, rather, leaves them unresolved in a story-like way. While annals represent historical reality as if real events did not display the form of story, the chronicle represents it as if real events appeared to human consciousness in the form of unfinished stories.



Official wisdom has it that however objective a historian might be in his reporting of events, however judicious in his assessment of evidence, however punctilious in his dating of res gestae, his account remains something less than a proper history when he has failed to give to reality the form of a story. Where there is no narrative, Croce said, there is no history, 6 and Peter Gay, writing from a perspective that is directly opposed to the relativism of Croce, puts it just as starkly: 'Historical narration without analysis is trivial, historical analysis without narration is incomplete.' 7 Gay's formulation calls up the Kantian bias of the demand for narration in historical representation, for it suggests, to paraphrase Kant, that historical narratives without analysis are empty, while historical analyses without narrative are blind. So, we may ask, what kind of insight

does narrative give into the nature of real events? What kind of blindness with respect to reality does narrativity dispell?

In what follows I will treat the annals and chronicle forms of historical representation not as the 'imperfect' histories they are conventionally conceived to be but rather as particular products of possible conceptions of historical reality, conceptions that are alternatives to, rather than failed anticipations of, the fully realized historical discourse that the modern history form is supposed to embody. This procedure will throw light on the problems of both historiography and narration alike and will illuminate what I conceive to be the purely conventional nature of the relationship between them. What will be revealed, I think, is that the very distinction between real and imaginary events, basic to modern discussions of both history and fiction, presupposes a notion of reality in which 'the true' is identified with 'the real' only insofar as it can be shown to possess the character of narrativity.

When we moderns look at an example of a medieval annals, we cannot but be struck by the apparent naiveté of the annalist; and we are inclined to ascribe this naiveté to the annalist's apparent refusal, inability, or unwillingness to transform the set of events ordered vertically as a file of annual markers into the elements of a linear/ horizontal process. In other words, we are likely to be put off by the annalist's apparent failure to see that historical events dispose themselves to the percipient eye as 'stories' waiting to be told, waiting to be narrated. But surely a genuinely historical interest would require that we ask not how or why the annalist failed to write a 'narrative' but rather what kind of notion of reality led him to represent in the annals form what, after all, he took to be real events. If we could answer this question, we might be able to understand why, in our own time and cultural condition, we could conceive of narrativity itself as a problem. [ . . . ]

If we grant that this discourse unfolds under a sign of a desire for the real, as we must do in order to justify the inclusion of the annals form among the types of historical representation, we must conclude that it is a product of an image of reality in which the social system, which alone could provide the diacritical markers for ranking the importance of events, is only minimally present to the consciousness of the writer or, rather, is present as a factor in the composition of the discourse only by virtue of its absence. Everywhere it is the forces of disorder, natural and human, the forces of violence and destruction, which occupy the forefront of attention. The account deals in qualities rather than agents, figuring forth a world in which things happen to people rather than one in which people do things. [ . . . ]

What is lacking in the list of events to give it a similar regularity and fullness is a notion of a social center by which both to locate them with respect to one another and to charge them with ethical or moral significance. It is the absence of any consciousness of a social center that prohibits the annalist from ranking the events which he treats as elements of a historical field of occurrence. And it is the absence of such a center that precludes or undercuts any impulse he might have had to work up his discourse into the form of a narrative. [ . . . ]

All this suggests to me that Hegel was right when he opined that a genuinely historical account had to display not only a certain form, that is, the narrative, but also a certain content, namely, a political-social order. 8 [ . . . ]

Hegel insists that the proper subject of such a record is the state, but the state is to him an abstraction. The reality which lends itself to narrative representation is the conflict between desire, on the one side, and the law on the other. Where there is no rule of law, there can be neither a subject nor the kind of event which lends itself to narrative representation. This proposition could not be empirically verified or falsified, to be sure; it rather enables a presupposition or hypothesis which permits us to imagine how both 'historicity' and 'narrativity' are possible. It also authorizes us to consider the proposition that neither is possible without some notion of the legal subject which can serve as the agent, agency, and subject of historical narrative in all of its manifestations, from the annals through the chronicle to the historical discourse as we know it in its modern realizations and failures.

The question of the law, legality; or legitimacy does not arise in those parts of the Annals of Saint Gall which we have been considering; at least, the question of human law does not arise. The coming of the Saracens is of the same moral significance as Charles' fight against the Saxons. We have no way of knowing whether the annalist would have been impelled to flesh out his list of events and rise to the challenge of a narrative representation of those events if he had written in the consciousness of the threat to a specific social system and the possibility of anarchy against which the legal system might have been erected. But once we have been alerted to the intimate relationship that Hegel suggests exists between law, historicahty, and narrativity, we cannot but be struck by the frequency with which narrativity, whether of the fictional or the factual sort, presupposes the existence of a legal system against or on behalf of which the typical agents of a narrative account militate. And this raises the suspicion that narrative in general, from the folktale to the novel, from the annals to the fully realized 'history,' has to do with the topics of law, legality, legitimacy, or, more generally, authority. [ . . . ]

Interest in the social system, which is nothing other than a system of human relationships governed by law, creates the possibility of conceiving the kinds of tensions, conflicts, struggles, and their various kinds of resolutions that we are accustomed to find in any representation of reality presenting itself to us as a history. Perhaps, then, the growth and development of historical consciousness which is attended by a concomitant growth and development of narrative capability (of the sort met with in the chronicle as against the annals form) has something to do with the extent to which the legal system functions as a subject of concern. If every fully realized story, however we define that familiar but conceptually elusive entity, is a kind of allegory, points to a moral, or endows events, whether real or imaginary, with a significance that they do not possess as a mere sequence, then it seems possible to conclude that every historical narrative has as its latent or manifest purpose the desire to moralize the events of which it treats. [ . . . ]

Does it follow that in order for there to be a narrative, there must be some equivalent of the Lord, some sacred being endowed with the authority and power of the Lord, existing in time? If so, what could such an equivalent be?

The nature of such a being, capable of serving as the central organizing principle of meaning of a discourse that is both realistic and narrative in structure, is called up in the mode of historical representation known as the chronicle. By common consensus among historians of historical writing, the chronicle form is a 'higher' form of historical conceptualization and represents a mode of historiographical representation superior to the annals form. Its superiority consists, it is agreed, in its greater comprehensiveness, its organization of materials 'by topics and reigns,' and its greater narrative coherency. The chronicle also has a central subject, the life of an individual, town, or region, some great undertaking, such as a war or crusade, or some institution, such as a monarchy, episcopacy, or monastery. The link of the chronicle with the annals is perceived in the perseverance of the chronology as the organizing principle of the discourse, and, so we are told, this is what makes the chronicle something less than a fully realized 'history.' Moreover, the chronicle, like the annals but unlike the history, does not so much 'conclude' as simply terminate; typically it lacks closure, that summing up of the 'meaning' of the chain of events with which it deals that we normally expect from the well-made story. The chronicle typically promises closure but does not provide it -- which is one of the reasons that the nineteenth-century editors of the medieval chronicles denied them the status of genuine histories.



Suppose that we look at the matter differently. Suppose that we do not grant that the chronicle is a 'higher' or more sophisticated representation of reality than the annals but is merely a different kind of representation, marked by a desire for a kind of order and fullness in an account of reality that remains theoretically unjustified, a desire that is, until shown otherwise, purely gratuitous. [ . . . ]

In order for an account of the events to be considered a historical account, however, it is not enough that they be recorded in the order of their original occurrence. It is the fact that they can be recorded otherwise, in an order of narrative, that makes them at once questionable as to their authenticity and susceptible to being considered tokens of reality. In order to qualify as 'historical,' an event must be susceptible to at least two narrations of its occurrence. Unless at least two versions of the same set of events can be imagined, there is no reason for the historian to take upon himself the authority of giving the true account of what really happened. The authority of the historical narrative is the authority of reality itself; the historical account endows this reality with form and thereby makes it desirable, imposing upon its processes the formal coherency that only stories possess.

The history, then, belongs to the category of what might be called the 'discourse of the real,' as against the 'discourse of the imaginary' or the 'discourse of desire.' The formulation is Lacanian, obviously, but I do not wish to push the Lacanian aspects of it too far. I merely wish to suggest that we can comprehend the appeal of historical discourse by recognizing the extent to which it makes the real desirable, makes the real into an object of desire, and does so by its imposition, upon events that are represented as real, of the formal coherency that stories possess. Unlike the annals, the reality that is represented in the historical narrative, in 'speaking itself,' speaks to us, summons us from afar (this 'afar' is the land of forms), and displays to us a formal coherency that we ourselves lack. The historical narrative, as against the chronicle, reveals to us a world that is putatively 'finished,' done with, over, and yet not dissolved, not falling apart. In this world, reality wears the mask of a meaning, the completeness and fullness of which we can only imagine, never experience. Insofar as historical stories can be completed, can be given narrative closure, can be shown to have had a plot all along, they give to reality the odor of the ideal. This is why the plot of a historical narrative is always an embarrassment and has to be presented as 'found' in the events rather than put there by narrative techniques.

The embarrassment of plot to historical narrative is reflected in the all but universal disdain with which modern historians regard the 'philosophy of history,' of which Hegel provides the modern paradigm. This (fourth) form of historical representation is condemned because it consists of nothing but plot; its story elements exist only as manifestations, epiphenomena, of the plot structure, in the service of which its discourse is disposed. Here reality wears a face of such regularity, order, and coherence that it leaves no room for human agency, presenting an aspect of such wholeness and completeness that it intimidates rather than invites to imaginative identification. But in the plot of the philosophy of history, the various plots of the various histories which tell us of merely regional happenings in the past are revealed for what they really are: images of that authority which summons us to participation in a moral universe that, but for its story form, would have no appeal at all.

This puts us dose to a possible characterization of the demand for closure in the history, for the want of which the chronicle form is adjudged to be deficient as a narrative. The demand for closure in the historical story is a demand, I suggest, for moral meaning, a demand that sequences of real events be assessed as to their significance as elements of a moral drama. [ . . . ]

We can perceive the operations of moral consciousness in the achievement of narrative fullness in an example of late medieval historiography, the Cronica of Dino Compagni, written between 1310 and 1312 and generally recognized as a proper historical narrative. 9 Dino's work not only 'fills in the gaps' which might have been left in an annalistic handling of its subject matter (the struggles between the Black and White factions of the dominant Guelf party in Florence between 1280 and 1312) and organizes its story according to a wellmarked ternary plot structure; it also achieves narrative fullness by explicitly invoking the idea of a social system to serve as a fixed reference point by which the flow of ephemeral events can be endowed with specifically moral meaning. In this respect, the Cronica clearly displays the extent to which the chronicle must approach the form of an allegory, moral or anagogical as the case may be, in order to achieve both narrativity and historicality.

It is interesting to observe that as the chronicle form is displaced by the proper history, certain of the features of the former disappear. First of all, no explicit patron is invoked: Dino's narrative does not unfold under the authority of a specific patron, as Richerus' does; instead, Dino simply asserts his right to recount notable events (cose notevoli) which he has 'seen and heard' on the basis of a superior capacity of foresight. 'No one saw these events in their beginnings [principi] more certainly than I,' he says. His prospective audience is not, then, a specific ideal reader, as Gerbert was for Richerus, but rather a group that is conceived to share his perspective on the true nature of all events: those citizens of Florence who are capable, as he puts it, of recognizing 'the benefits of God, who rules and governs for all time.' At the same time, he speaks to another group, the depraved citizens of Florence, those who are responsible for the 'conflicts' (discordie) that had wracked the city for some three decades. To the former, his narrative is intended to hold out the hope of deliverance from these conflicts; to the latter, it is intended as an admonition and a threat of retribution. The chaos of the last ten years is contrasted with more 'prosperous' years to come, after the emperor Henry VII has descended on Florence in order to punish a people whose 'evil customs and false profits' have 'corrupted and spoiled the whole world.' 10 What Kermode calls 'the weight of meaning' of the events recounted is 'thrown forward' onto a future just beyond the immediate present, a future fraught with moral judgment and punishment for the wicked. 11

The jeremiad with which Dino's work closes marks it as belonging to a period before which a genuine historical 'objectivity,' which is to say, a secularist ideology, had been established -- so the commentators tell us. But it is difficult to see how the kind of narrative fullness for which Dino is praised could have been attained without the implicit invocation of the moral standard that he uses to distinguish between those real events worthy of being recorded and those unworthy of it. [ . . . ]

It is this moralistic ending which keeps Dino Cronica from meeting the standard of a modern, 'objective' historical account. Yet it is this moralism which alone permits the work to end or, rather, to conclude in a way different from the way that the annals and the chronicle forms do. But on what other grounds could a narrative of real events possibly conclude? When it is a matter of recounting the concourse of real events, what other 'ending' could a given sequence of such events have than a 'moralizing' ending? What else could narrative closure consist of than the passage from one moral order to another? I confess that I cannot think of any other way of 'concluding' an account of real events; for we cannot say, surely, that any sequence of real events actually comes to an end, that reality itself disappears, that events of the order of the real have ceased to happen. Such events could only have seemed to have ceased to happen when meaning is shifted, and shifted by narrative means, from one physical or social space to another. Where moral sensitivity is lacking, as it seems to be in an annalistic account of reality, or is only potentially present, as it appears to be in a chronicle, not only meaning but the means to track such shifts of meaning, that is, narrativity, appears to be lacking also. Where, in any account of reality, narrativity is present, we can be sure that morality or a moralizing impulse is present too. There is no other way that reality can be endowed with the kind of meaning that both displays itself in its consummation and withholds itself by its displacement to another story 'waiting to be told' just beyond the confines of 'the end.'

What I have been working around to is the question of the value attached to narrativity itself, especially in representations of reality of the sort which historical discourse embodies. [ . . . ] It is the historians themselves who have transformed narrativity from a manner of speaking into a paradigm of the form which reality itself displays to a 'realistic' consciousness. It is they who have made narrativity into a value, the presence of which in a discourse having to do with real events signals at once its objectivity, its seriousness, and its realism.

I have sought to suggest that this value attached to narrativity in the representation of real events arises out of a desire to have real events display the coherence, integrity, fullness, and closure of an image of life that is and can only be imaginary. The notion that sequences of real events possess the formal attributes of the stories we tell about imaginary events could only have its origin in wishes, daydreams, reveries. Does the world really present itself to perception in the form of well-made stories, with central subjects, proper beginnings, middles, and ends, and a coherence that permits us to see 'the end' in every beginning? Or does it present itself more in the forms that the annals and chronicle suggest, either as mere sequence without beginning or end or as sequences of beginnings that only terminate and never conclude? And does the world, even the social world, ever really come to us as already narrativized, already 'speaking itself' from beyond the horizon of our capacity to make scientific sense of it? Or is the fiction of such a world, a world capable of speaking itself and of displaying itself as a form of a story, necessary for the establishment of that moral authority without which the notion of a specifically social reality would be unthinkable? If it were only a matter of realism in representation, one could make a pretty good case for both the annals and chronicle forms as paradigms of ways that reality offers itself to perception. Is it possible that their supposed want of objectivity, manifested in their failure to narrativize reality adequately, has nothing to do with the modes of perception which they presuppose but with their failure to represent the moral under the aspect of the aesthetic? And could we answer that question without giving a narrative account of the history of objectivity itself, an account that would already prejudice the outcome of the story we would tell in favor of the moral in general?



Could we ever narrativize without moralizing?

Notes

ROLAND BARTHE, ''Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narratives,'' Image, Music, Text, trans. Stephen Heath ( New York, 1977), p. 79.

The words 'narrative,' 'narration,' 'to narrate,' and so on derive via the Latin gnarus ('knowing,' 'acquainted with,' 'expert,' 'skilful,' and so forth) and narrō ('relate,' 'tell') from the Sanskrit root gna ('know'). The same root yields γνώριμος ('knowable,' 'known'): see EMILE BOISACQ, Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque ( Heidelberg, 1950), under the entry for this word. My Thanks to Ted Morris of Cornell, one of our great etymologists.

GÉRARD GENETTE, ''Boundaries of Narrative,'' New Literary History 8.1 (Autumn 1976):11.

EMILE BENVENISTE as quoted by Genette, ''Boundaries of Narrative,'' p. 9. Cf. BENVENISTE, Problems in General Linguistics, trans. Mary Elizabeth Meek ( Coral Gables, Fla., 1971), p. 208.

See LOVIS O. MINK, ''Narrative Form as a Cognitive Instrument,'' and LIONEL GOSSMAN , ''History and Literature,'' in The Writing of History. Literary Form and Historical Understanding, ed. Robert H. Canaryand Henry Kozicki ( Madison, Wis., 1978), with complete bibliography on the problem of narrative form in historical writing.

I discuss Croce in Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth Century Europe ( Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973), pp. 381-5.

PETER GAY, Style in History ( New York, 1974), p. 189.

G. W. F. HEGEL, The Philosophy of History, trans. J. Sibree ( New York, 1956), pp. 60-1.

La cronica di Dino Compagni delle cose occorrenti ne'tempi suoi e La canzone morale Del Pregio dello stesso autore, ed. Isidore Del Lungo, 4th edn rev. ( Florence, 1902). Cf. HARRY ELMER BARNES, A History of Historical Writing ( New York, 1962), pp. 80-1.

Ibid. p. 5: my translations.

See FRANK KERMODE, The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction ( Oxford, 1967), chap. 1.






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