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HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS

HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS

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Published by tutor79
Only this new introduction distinguishes the second edition from the first. Much could have been added, modifications and refinements could have been made, but I considered that the text ought to be left unchanged, just as I saw fit to write it three years ago. All the more so as the book has become almost a classic: I have the feeling that it is no longer really my property any more. So I shall rely on this introduction to say all that I havetosay about thebook,itshistory, and the historical and cultural controversies to which it has given rise.
In writing it, I was convinced that I was laying myself open to attack on many fronts. I hadhad a foretasteonly a short timeearlier,when, together with my students, I published the collection Romanian Histon’calMyths in a limited print-run at the Bucharest University Press. The armed forces television program Pro Patm’a (now discontinued) did me the honor of making a veritable “soap opera” out of the issue,which was broadcast at peakviewingtime on thenationaltelevision channel. Military and civilian commentators outdid one another in talking about me (in my absence) in less than pleasant terms. I had struck, it would appear, at the foundations of national ideology and Romanian identity-by relativizing what my accusers “knew” full well to be the one and only historyof the nation. Just one more step-and a short one at that-and it wouldhavebeen a matter of high treason. The militaryhadbecome a tribunal of historiography: whatcould be more telling both for theconfusedstate of Romaniandemocracy and for the contempt in which professionalism was held? Some newspapers gave mea smda.r treatment. The students, too, had their share of troubles at the hands of certain professors-scarcelytothecredit of thelatter. I realizedthen what it means to frnd oneself isolated in such a situation, even in what I must recognize was a self- cultivated isolation. Adversaries are usually quicker off the mark than supporters. The fact is that at the time no one leapt to my aid. And I must confess that I had not expected such an uproar. My aims had been purely professional; I had never sought to gain cheap publicity or to scandalize public opinion. I was caught red- handed in my own naivete: I should have known-it was, after all, the very thesis I had alwayspropounded!-thathistory cannot beisolated from society, from ...
Only this new introduction distinguishes the second edition from the first. Much could have been added, modifications and refinements could have been made, but I considered that the text ought to be left unchanged, just as I saw fit to write it three years ago. All the more so as the book has become almost a classic: I have the feeling that it is no longer really my property any more. So I shall rely on this introduction to say all that I havetosay about thebook,itshistory, and the historical and cultural controversies to which it has given rise.
In writing it, I was convinced that I was laying myself open to attack on many fronts. I hadhad a foretasteonly a short timeearlier,when, together with my students, I published the collection Romanian Histon’calMyths in a limited print-run at the Bucharest University Press. The armed forces television program Pro Patm’a (now discontinued) did me the honor of making a veritable “soap opera” out of the issue,which was broadcast at peakviewingtime on thenationaltelevision channel. Military and civilian commentators outdid one another in talking about me (in my absence) in less than pleasant terms. I had struck, it would appear, at the foundations of national ideology and Romanian identity-by relativizing what my accusers “knew” full well to be the one and only historyof the nation. Just one more step-and a short one at that-and it wouldhavebeen a matter of high treason. The militaryhadbecome a tribunal of historiography: whatcould be more telling both for theconfusedstate of Romaniandemocracy and for the contempt in which professionalism was held? Some newspapers gave mea smda.r treatment. The students, too, had their share of troubles at the hands of certain professors-scarcelytothecredit of thelatter. I realizedthen what it means to frnd oneself isolated in such a situation, even in what I must recognize was a self- cultivated isolation. Adversaries are usually quicker off the mark than supporters. The fact is that at the time no one leapt to my aid. And I must confess that I had not expected such an uproar. My aims had been purely professional; I had never sought to gain cheap publicity or to scandalize public opinion. I was caught red- handed in my own naivete: I should have known-it was, after all, the very thesis I had alwayspropounded!-thathistory cannot beisolated from society, from ...

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: tutor79 on Feb 02, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/12/2013

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original

 
History and Myth
in
Romanian Consciousness
 
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