Rethinking Historical Distance (BOK)
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This volume brings new depth to the analysis of historical distance by looking at its importance in fields that extend far beyond the usual bounds of history, including psychoanalysis and the visual and performing arts. Its sources include 19th century British sculpture, musical theatre, and late 18th and 19th century fashion plates. The book offers general introductory discussions of how historical distance might best be understood in contemporary historiography, of changing ideals of distance and proximity as they have taken shape in Western thought from the Renaissance to modernity and of historical judgments and their meanings. It includes a range of essays that explore the importance of distance in relation to a number of different problems and periods, including how the use of historical distance as a framework might offer new ways of distinguishing literary fictions from histories, or a new understanding of the changing pattern of biography over the past two centuries. The range of forms and media covered by the essays in this collection greatly expands not only ways of thinking about historical distance, but the nature and meaning of history. By incorporating this wide range of different material and an equally wide range of approaches, the volume gives the discussion of historical distance a new breadth, flexibility and importance.