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The Writing of History by Michel de Certeau


The Writing of History by Michel de Certeau

A leading intellectual member of France's Freudian school, Michel de Certeau combined principles from the disciplines of religion, history, and psychoanalysis in order to redefine historiography and rethink the categories of history. In The Writing of History, de Certeau examines the West's changing conceptions of the very role and nature of history itself, from the seventeenth-century attempts to formulate a history of man to Freud's Moses and Monotheism with which de Certeau interprets historical practice as a function of mankind's feelings of loss, mourning, and absence. Exhaustively researched and stunningly innovative, The Writing of History is a crucial introduction to de Certeau's work and is destined to become a classic of modern thought.


Erudite in the extreme... Brilliant and rewarding. Voice Literary Supplement The crowing work of the late Michel de Certeau is this volume of essays on historiography... Tom Conley has now translated the text into English, with lovely fidelity to de Certeau's mellifluous Gallic idiom. The book is a brilliant, disjointed, baffling work, brimming with complex metaphors, Franco-German metaphysics and a post-modern sensibility. American Historical Review Although he has not yet gained the international reputation of a Foucault, a Bourdieu or a Derrida, the late Michel de Certeau was in their class as a thinker and and his spectrum of interests was even wider than theirs, ranging from theology, sociology, and anthropology. French History

About the Author

Michel de Certeau taught at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris and at the University of California, San Diego, where he was also chairman of the literature department. He authored over a dozen books, including The Mystical Fable, Heterologies: Discourses on the Other, and The Practice of Everyday Life. Tom Conley, Professor of French and Italian at the University of Minnesota, is the author of Film Hieroglyphics and The Graphic Unconscious. He has also translated Gilles Deleuze's The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque.

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Book Info

Publication date

8th October 1992


Michel de Certeau

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Columbia University Press


368 pages





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