Jablonka distinguishes between the act of history and creative writing in the social sciences

French publisher and writer Yvan Jablonka, professor of history at the University of Paris 13, said that “in history, there are areas of doubt and uncertainty, and questions about truth and reality, as the historian formulates working hypotheses and imagines possibilities and the future, and he thus produces a form of imagination.”
The French historian explained, during a lecture he gave Thursday evening at the Higher Institute of Management in Rabat in partnership with the French Institute, that imagination is a way to express the reality of society, noting that “in Madame Bovary’s novel, no one can deny the existence of Mrs. Bovary; But we know that the entire novel is a creation of the writer’s imagination.”

In this regard, Ivan Jablonka pointed out that history is not fiction, sociology is not a novel, anthropology is not exotic, and all three are subject to methodological rules,” noting that “within this framework, nothing prevents the researcher from writing.”
The university professor specializing in history considered that reconciling social sciences with literary creativity means trying to write in a way that is more free, original, fair, and more reflective, and not to pacify the scientific nature of research; But on the contrary to strengthen it.

The lecturer stressed that “the writings of reality – reports, investigations, life stories and testimonies – represent literature open to the world, intersecting with logic, keen not only to represent reality; But to understand it. Write to tell the truth. Since history can be contemporary literature, literature has something of contemporary history. The same can be said for other social sciences.
The French researcher and historian added: “People do not read the books of social sciences and humanities; Rather, she prefers novels and suspense stories. Also, students are becoming more connected with law, medicine and agriculture, and a small group of them tend to study history and the humanities.”

He said that “history is the recounting of facts by the historian, which is the knowledge of events in a realistic way,” noting that history is a “true narrative.” He also stressed that history is not a science that is only written, and that there is no approach or methodology for writing history, calling for the isolation of history from sociology.
In the same course, the same historian pointed out that history can be literature, but not all historians are writers; There are some historians against the act of writing and blogging, stressing that “a novelist cannot expose his writings by admitting to the reader that the events of his novel are the creation of his imagination.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *