Impartial Stranger: History and Intertextuality in Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Synopsis

"Impartial Stranger approaches the questions of narrative in history-writing by examining specific literary genres and textual precursors embedded in the reconstruction of the past. It exploits the seam between literary criticism and philosophies of history in order to formulate a new model for reading history. The resulting synthesis permits a reevaluation of Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that queries the illusion of authorial omniscience. 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." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved