Lecture 11: History Writing in the 1960s and 1970s and the ‘linguistic turn’

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Jean-Francois Lyotard (1925-98)

¿Tæ†ÒË, serif">The analysis of a text is complex and complicated thing which postmodernists call ‘deconstruction’ – complicated isse see Brown, p. 99-100.

¿Tæ†ÒË, serif">It is a reaction against the notion that there can be any certainty of meaning in a text

¿Tæ†ÒË, serif">Consequences for historian:

¿Tæ†ÒË, serif">1. Reading history as a primary source/ Writing history
¿Tæ†ÒË, serif">One of the most controversial implications of postmodernists position is that the past itself is a text, and nothing but a text. ¿Tæ†ÒË, serif">The historian is involved in reading the past as if it was one large text.
¿Tæ†ÒË, serif">Barthes and Derrida were big at developing this idea. Our ability to recall events only in text transform those events into fact-statements and narrative-statements that divorce them immediately from the reality of the past, and puts them in a relationship to each other that they many not have had. The ¿Tæ†ÒË, serif">

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