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On the Future of HistoryThe Postmodernist Challenge and Its Aftermath$
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Ernst Breisach

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780226072791

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226072814.001.0001

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In the Eye of the Storm: The Poststructuralist Postmodernist Concept of Truth

In the Eye of the Storm: The Poststructuralist Postmodernist Concept of Truth

(p.89) 16 In the Eye of the Storm: The Poststructuralist Postmodernist Concept of Truth
On the Future of History
University of Chicago Press

In the controversy over the constitution and recovery of the past, postmodernist narrativists had dealt with the issue of truth when they followed the linguistic turn to the borders of literature and beyond. All order in historical accounts resulted from the imaginative use of the forms of literature and language. The French poststructuralist postmodernists chose a similar course but added philosophical considerations to the literary ones. The world was one of discourses and texts but its dynamic involved more than the forms of literature and language. For historians this meant that they would have to revise thoroughly the ways of “doing history.” Not with the aim of remedying epistemological failings but to destroy the link between truth and authority that legitimated the exercise of power on behalf of truth. As the poststructuralist postmodernists never tired to point out, the insistence on the truth of progress had been directly linked to the human catastrophes of the twentieth century.

Keywords:   postmodernist narrativists, literature and language, poststructuralist postmodernists, doing history, truth, progress

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