Mosaic - Studien und Texte zur amerikanischen Kultur und Geschichte, Band 3
Bernd Engler und Oliver Scheiding (Hg.):
Re-Visioning the Past:
Historical Self-Reflexivity in American Short Fiction

This collection of essays addresses forms of historical self-reflexivity in American short fiction from the early nineteenth century to the present. It examines the historical, social, and intellectual impulses that led to a questioning of the traditional concepts of historiography. The essays investigate the various challenges that American writers of short fiction have leveled against positivistic notions of history throughout the last two centuries.

As the contributors of this collection show, the questioning of the truth status of historiography is not a product of a pervasive twentieth-century skepticism and relativism, but is instead a reflection of a persistent and wide-ranging inquiry into the limits of historical knowledge: philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries doubted the possibility of an objective rendering of historical events, and writers of fiction at once absorbed and intensified these skeptical impulses. From the beginning, American short stories have instigated a process of renegotiating and re-visioning America's past.



B. Engler/O. Scheiding: Re-Visioning the Past: The Historical Imagination in American Historiography and Short Fiction

O. Scheiding: "Plena exemplorum est historia": Rewriting Exemplary History in Charles Brockden Brown’s "Death of Cicero"

J. Zimmermann: The Reinvention of the American Native: Washington Irving’s Construction of an Alternative Cultural Memory

J. C. Schöpp: Enfolding the Past: Hawthorne’s Complications of History in "Legends of the Province-House"

J. Lethbridge: The Historian as Detective: Historical Method in Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Murders in the Rue Morgue"

K. Benesch: Do Machines Make History? Technological Determinism in Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Man That Was Used Up"

O. Scheiding: Subversions of Providential Historiography in Herman Melville’s "Benito Cereno"

G. Hurm: "Truth is Stranger than Fiction": The Historiographical Hoax of Mark Twain’s "The Great Revolution in Pitcairn"

R. Kunow: "No idea of a grand historic performance": Stephen Crane’s Cuban War Stories as Revisionist Histories

F. Nünning: "The Realm of the Unknown": Epistemological Skepticism, Historical Revisionism, and the Transgressions of Boundaries in Ambrose Bierce’s Short Stories

W. Hochbruck: Writing a Civil War in William Faulkner’s The Unvanquished

R. K. Cross: Flannery O’Connor and the History behind History

K. W. Vowe: History as Self-Conscious Memoir: Reinventing the Fifties in John Updike’s "When Everyone Was Pregnant"

D. I. Ristoff: Revisioning the Center: Histories of Middle America in John Updike’s "The Christian Room Mates" and "More Stately Mansions"

B. Engler: History as Fairytale: Appropriations of European History in Joyce Carol Oates’s "Ich bin ein Berliner"

Gionis: "The More You Know The Less You Know": Ronald Sukenick’s "What’s Watts" and Donald Barthelme’s "Robert Kennedy Saved from Drowning"

P. Goetsch: Virtual History in Donald Barthelme’s "Cortés and Montezuma"

H. Breinig: Hybrid Retrospections: Myth, Fiction, History and the Native American Historiographic Short Story

M. Porsche: "Dammit, now it is history": Revisionist Strategies in Kevin McIlvoy's "The Complete History of New Mexico"

E. M. Smith: Revisions of Communal History in Ernest Gaines’s "A Long Day In November"

S. Sievers: Escaping the Master's Narrative? Sherley Anne Williams’s Rethinking of Historical Representation in "Meditations on History"

H. Tonn: History’s Remains: Performative Appropriations of the Past in the Short Fiction of Dagoberto Gilb

G. Leypoldt: Concepts of History and Epistemological Skepticism in Susan Daitch’s "X?Y"

R. Mayer: Looking Forward to Looking Back: Steve Erickson’s Retrofitted Future in "From Arc d‘X"

ISBN 3-88476-300-8, 428 S., kt., € 35,00 (1998) 

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