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Perspective and Historical Knowledge: Magris, Sebald, and Pamuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1254-1275
JournalMLN
Volume133
Issue number5
Early online dateDec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Abstract

Since the Renaissance, perspective has been used as a metaphor to describe both the possibility of depicting reality objectively, and the fact that all representations are limited and subjective. The same ambivalence is carried over in the notion of historical perspective, which serves to articulate both relativist and realist arguments about our interpretations of the past. This article analyses the tension between these two positions, and the way this tension is constructed, and in part resolved, in visual terms in three recent narratives of place and memory: Magris’ Danube, Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn, and Pamuk’s Istanbul.

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