Twenty statements on text, literature, and history

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


My contribution is an attempt to put forward the thesis that there is an elective affinity between historical narrative, periodization, and the sense of loss. Modern history frequently functions in a way that produces melancholy in its recognition of loss and its acknowledgement of discontinuity. For this reason, historical narrative fits well with the idea of the nation state, which is an entity which must be constantly shored up and extended across local boundaries to encompass strangers in an anonymous pact of intimacy. Historical narratives of the nation seize the evidence of untimely death (or its threat) in order to make the case for the nation, but they often do so in a melancholic register. Thus I attempt to bring into a provisional conceptual union «history», «narrative», and «melancholy».

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-104
Number of pages6
JournalInternationales Archiv fuer Sozialgeschichte der Deutschen Literatur
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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