History and Myth in Romanian Consciousness
There is a considerable difference between real history and discourse history - this book stems from this idea. The author points out that history is constantly reconstructed, adapted and sometimes mythified from the perspective of the present day, of present states of mind and ideologies. Boia closely examines the process of historical culture and conscience in nineteenth and twentieth century Romania, particularly concentrating on the impact of the national ideology on history. Based upon his findings, the author identifies several key mythical configurations and analyses the manner in which Romanians have reconstituted their own highly ideologized history over the last two centuries.
The strength of History and Myth in Romanian Consciousness lies in the author's ability to fully deconstruct the entire Romanian historiographic system and demonstrate the increasing acuteness of national problems in general, and in particular the exploitation of history to support national ideology.
About the Author
Lucian Boia is Professor of History at the University of Bucharest,
"Boia's work has had a huge impact on Romanian public opinion, and has triggered a serious rethinking of the links between the nation, the nation-state, national identity, history, and politics. On a more theoretical level, his work is pioneering the integration of contemporary Western scholarship on nationalism, deconstructivism, postmodern history into the Romanian historigraphic discourse."—Austrian Studies Newsletter
"History and Myth represents one of the most sophisticated archeologies in Romanian historiography, past and present. With the insight of both the native and the scholar, Romanian historian Lucian Boia nuancedly presents and - without "demythologizing," as the author himself declares - deconstructs the Romanian "imaginary" as a matter of myths expressed in public and private, formal and informal discursive spaces. The two Introductions to the first and second Romanian editions that preface this volume are extremely valuable since they (re)iterate the topic of the book - "history as discourse" - and (re)contextualize some newer myths of the late 1990s, which captured the public eye after the first edition was issued. ... History and Myth offers a challenging perspective, a clearly translated narrative, and an indispensable analytical tool for scholars of Romania and of Eastern European history and politics."—Slavic and East European Journal
"...a happy event for those teaching Romanian history in English... Boia writes with verve and the translation reads well on the whole, making this study of the axes ground by Romanian historians in the last centuries not only informative, but fun to read."—Patterns of Prejudice
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