The Illusions of Literary-Historical Hi-story

Ivana Žužul; Zavod za povijest hrvatske književnosti i glazbe HAZU
The paper attempts to demystify and denaturalize the idea of impartial literary-historical systematization by problematizing it as one of the essential fictions, on which both the great story of national identity as well as the great story of homogeneous and continuous national literature are based on. For that purpose, Ježić's model of literary history is being analysed from the point of view of New Historicism, which discloses the impossibility of achieving the ideal of objectivity in the historiographic genre. The paper emphasizes the fact that there is no such thing as innocent reading and that hidden behind every interpretation there are interest tactful goals of describing the field (Certeau). By their fictional narrative strategies literary histories are, on the one hand, related to artistic texts, and on the other, as well as other discourse practices, they take up a certain place in the field of cultural values. The analysis shows that it is also the case with Ježić's Croatian literature: its subject is, among other things, shaped by socially acceptable values, while its “objective” historiographic survey necessarily slides away into subjectivistic fictionalization.
Key words
literary history; new historicism/the poetics of culture; the poetics of politics; the historiciy of texts; the textuality of history; narrative and fictional elements; values, prejudices and ideological imperatives of historian
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