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Introduction Making Sense, Producing Meaning: Time, Memory And Historical Narratives

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Chapter Summary

"Historical thinking makes sense of time"-the study of history converts time into meaning. The three concepts of time, meaning and historical narration are inevitably linked. By producing meaning, the practice of history has a problematic relationship with time. On the one hand, all historians are part of their time and their own field of experience. On the other, they aim to distance themselves from the past they work on and to be a 'director of time'. The time of memory is shaped by memories and oblivion. It is the result of a process of selection and of an act of remembering past times. The analysis of historiography allows reflect on the links between history and memory, as historians have contributed to the construction of a national master narrative, to national commemorations, as well as to counter-discourses since the emergence of history as a discipline in the nineteenth century.

Keywords: historical narratives; producing meaning; time



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