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On Historical Distance$
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Mark Salber Phillips

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300140378

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300140378.001.0001

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Past and Present

Past and Present

Contrastive Narratives in the Romantic Age

(p.115) 6 Past and Present
On Historical Distance

Mark Salber Phillips

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the so-called contrast narrative, an unusual but influential historical genre in the early nineteenth century. It discusses the idea that historical thought involves a dialogue between two distinct moments but finds no acknowledgment in history's formal structure and the contradiction between history's conceptual underpinnings and its formal arrangements. The chapter also provides examples of contrasting narrative including Thomas Carlyle's Past and Present and Augustus Pugin's Contrasts which used doubled or ironic narratives for purposes of ideological critique.

Keywords:   contrast narrative, historical genre, historical thought, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, Augustus Pugin, Contrasts, ironic narratives, ideological critique

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