Essays in Contemporary History
EGO-HISTOIRE? Living Memory and Historical Practice. A personal tale
1.1 Mastered History? Irritations about the suggested format and authorship of ‘ego histoire’ To be invited to present a public reflection on the interrelationships of one’s life and work is to be seducted and frustrated at the same time. Seducted because it is flattering that there should be such a personal interest in my historical practise and in my person with colleagues from all over Europe, being gathered at it’s most prominent graduate faculty here in Florence. Frustrating because an one hour exposé in ‘Ego Histoire’ seems to me to be an impossible task. Obviously, the challenge is not an autobiography because that genre of nar- ratives can hardly be put on the agenda from the outside. If its results were to be any good, it needed a special motive and time in the author’s life to be triggered off and then most probably it may run into complexities that would afford far more space. Basically this holds still true when the task would be cut down to a work account after more than thirty years as an academic historian. The right time in life for autobiographical labors usually is a crisis, when things can no longer be taken as selfunderstood and the person is forced to come to grips with his or her own tale, authoring it anew. Less generally, but still as a standard rule the best type of crisis for an autobiography is a liberating one, when the re- straints of institutions, ambition and discretion tend to...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.