When "The Lie Becomes Truth": Four Historiographic Novels of the Twentieth Century

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Description

This dissertation is an exploration of relationships between fiction and history as illuminated by historiographic fiction in general and the historiographic novel in particular. Here the term historiography is employed particularly in several of its many meanings: as the study of the materials and techniques of history, the study of what it means to be a historian, and the study of the philosophy of history. All of these are comprehended in the larger definition of issues pertaining to the writing of history. Four twentieth-century novels are presented and analyzed as historiographic novels. The common element in analysis of all the ... continued below

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Detels, Polly Elizabeth December 1999.

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This dissertation is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 545 times , with 5 in the last month . More information about this dissertation can be viewed below.

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  • Detels, Polly Elizabeth

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Description

This dissertation is an exploration of relationships between fiction and history as illuminated by historiographic fiction in general and the historiographic novel in particular. Here the term historiography is employed particularly in several of its many meanings: as the study of the materials and techniques of history, the study of what it means to be a historian, and the study of the philosophy of history. All of these are comprehended in the larger definition of issues pertaining to the writing of history. Four twentieth-century novels are presented and analyzed as historiographic novels. The common element in analysis of all the novels is the examination of historiographic material encoded in narrative, plot, characters, theme, structure or style. Each analysis focuses on one historiographic assumption or problem and brings in perspectives of historians or theorists of history as well as non-novelistic, critical perspectives of the authors themselves. E. M. Forster's Howards End (1910) is analyzed as an imaginative exposé of causality in historical thinking. All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren (1946) is presented as a gloss on Isaiah Berlin's critique of Leo Tolstoy's second epilogue to War and Peace. Several essays by philosopher Eric Voegelin provide the theoretical framework for a historiographic analysis of Milan Kundera's The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1978). The historiographic reading of Graham Swift's Waterland (1983) turns on the convergence of tensions between natural and human history with conflicting ideas of what constitutes revolution. In the process of these analyses, the study establishes general properties of the historiographic novel, as opposed to related categories (historical novel, nonfiction novel, and historiographic metafiction, for example). The isolation, description, and examination of historiographic novels as a category of history is offered as a contribution to the debate about the relationships, respectively, between narrative and objectivity, and experience and representation.

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  • December 1999

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  • May 14, 2008, 7:44 p.m.

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  • April 14, 2016, 7:58 p.m.

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Detels, Polly Elizabeth. When "The Lie Becomes Truth": Four Historiographic Novels of the Twentieth Century, dissertation, December 1999; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5508/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .