Marxism and Historiography in East Central Europe
Introduction. Writing Comparative Histories of Historiography
Introduction Writing Comparative Histories of Historiography In her recently published, brilliant book about Romantic-era historiographies of Central and Eastern Europe, the Hungarian historian Monika Baár comes to the conclusion that the presumed differences between these historiographies and their supposed detachment from dominant Western European historiographies were not as compelling as had been heretofore believed. Similarities are so frequent, and so deeply ingrained, that “on closer inspection the historical narrative reveals the existence of a general template of national historiography in our era, which comprised a core story and numerous omnipresent tropes.”1 Not only do national historiographies share similar narrative patterns – they also relate to the same myths and images. For example, one of the things they share is the belief in the uniqueness of their own story. Romantic-era historiography, which in Central and Eastern Europe is associated with founding father figures or innovators who reframed the task of the historian, shaped our ways of thinking about the past. In time, Romantic narratives came to be criticised and opposed, but the voices rejecting the domination of national historiography by the Romantic idea can often be seen singing the same tune. While taking positions similar to the ones chosen by Romantic historians, the critics also employed similar arguments. At first, Marxism served as an inspiration for a research attitude opposed to the early 19th century modes of historical thinking. Since the late 19th century, it has inspired social scientists. Its influence in Central and Eastern Europe peaked in the 1960s....
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.