History, as both literary critics and historians agree, is not a given, but forms itself in specific patterns of thought and the linguistic patterns which realize these modes of thinking. The present volume devotes itself to history as a written construct by examining the broad spectrum of literary treatments of history from the late Enlightenment to the present and discussing their theoretical and historiographic premises. The Introduction discusses the principal methods and leading aspects of the contemporary debate at the intersection of 'literature' and 'history'. The main body of the work then presents a series of chronologically arranged case studies which illuminate both the interplay of historical view and textual procedures and the social function of different forms and genres of historical representation.
The volume thus provides a compendium which for the first time provides systematic access to a research field which has been rapidly expanding for several years now, and examines its benefits for both literary studies and the theory of history; as such, it also serves as an introduction to an extremely complex field of research.
Daniel Fulda is Assistant Professor in the Department of German Language and Literature at the University of Cologne.
Silvia Serena Tschopp holds a Chair in European Cultural History at the University of Augsburg.