Studies in honor of Eddo Rigotti
Edited By Giovanni Gobber and Andrea Rocci
Jakob Wüest: Argumentation, causality and narrativity in Fernand Braudel’s The Mediterranean
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Argumentation, causality and narrativity in Fernand Braudel’s The Mediterranean1
JAKOB WÜEST, University of Zurich
In our conversations I learned much from you about argumentation theory. I am primarily interested in the hierarchical structures of texts, and, however, as part of these structures, also in argumentation and causality. Since, at present, I am dealing with the structure of historiographic texts, I take the liberty of dedicating this article to you, that addresses Fernand Braudel’s The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II.
Braudel (1902–1985), as a professor at the Collège de France (1949–1972), as the director of the 6th section of the Ecole pratique des hautes études (1956–1972) and as a co-editor of the journal Annales. Economies. Sociétés. Civilisations, was the most influential French historian of his generation. He was, after Marc Bloch and Lucien Febvre, the leading head of the school of French historians named the Annales school, after their journal. These historians blamed the traditional historiography for limiting itself to narrating historical events: “Traditional history, with its concern for the short time span, for the individual and the event, has long accustomed us to the headlong, dramatic, breathless rush of its narrative” (Braudel 1980: 27). Of course, history has always to do with time, there are short and long time spans. Braudel turned to a historiography that is concerned with the longue durée.
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