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The Allure of the Archives$
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Arlette Farge

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300176735

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300176735.001.0001

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(p.121) Writing
The Allure of the Archives

Arlette Farge

Yale University Press

This final chapter explains the process of writing about the lives and history gleamed through the research process. The way the research is carried out and the responses to that research will always shape how the research is written up. Historians must search for a language that will allow them to bring unexpected new pieces of knowledge to light, while accepting that certain things will remain unknowable. The historian must distance themselves from the idea of the archive as a reflection as well as the idea of the archive as conclusive proof. The chapter asks: how can the historian invent a language that will grasp what is being sought, among these infinite traces of challenges, reversals, and successes?

Keywords:   writing, lives, research, historians, archive

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