Impartial Stranger: History and Intertextuality in Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
University of Delaware Press, 1999 - 290 pages
The analysis of particular cases of the interplay of dramatic and fictional forms in this eighteenth-century landmark provides a perspective on theories of historical narrative as well as an illustration of the problems encountered by Enlightenment historians in finding a satisfactory literary vehicle."--BOOK JACKET.
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actual already ancient appears argues calls century chapter character claims classical consciousness construction continues criticism cultural Decline and Fall desire dialogue discourse doubt eighteenth eighteenth-century emperor empire epic example experience expression fact fiction figure footnotes function Gibbon gives historian historiographical human ideal ideas identity imagination imitation impartial stranger important interpretation intertextual kind knowledge language less limits lines linguistic literary lived material means metaphor method mind mode narrative narrator nature notes notion novel object observer original passage past perhaps position practice present principle problem question reader reading reconstruction reference relation remarks reveals rhetorical romance Rome says scholar seems sense significance signs social sources speech stand structure suggests symbolic textual theories things thought tion traces traditional transcendence translation truth turn University Press values voice writing
Page 18 - Pecuchet, those eternal copyists, at once sublime and comic and whose profound ridiculousness indicates precisely the truth of writing, the writer can only imitate a gesture that is always anterior, never original. His only power is to mix writings, to counter the ones with the others, in such a way as never to rest on any one of them. Did he wish to express himself, he ought at least to know that the inner 'thing