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Writing from Fragments single work   criticism  
Issue Details: First known date: 2009... 2009 Writing from Fragments
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'It’s rare to know how a book is written. A book catches our eye in a favourite bookshop; we think we must buy it, forget the price; before idling towards the cash register, we might look at what’s said on the back cover, the information on the inside jacket, the photograph (if any) of the author, perhaps the index to see what family of names is being invoked and discussed. We might quickly glance at the preface and acknowledgements, which tell some of the story of how the book came to be, but not usually all that much, or not enough. How is the book first thought? How does it proceed from a mere gleam in its creator’s eye? How does it go from a vague idea involving obscure desires and passions, fantasies and obsessions, to the first shape of an argument, a thesis with a thesis, a narrative where chapters start to relate to each other and that begins to move as if of itself, as if naturally? What I’d like to do in this essay is try to recall the process of getting going, the first moves I made, while recognising that memory is unreliable and always constructing; what memory creates becomes another story. What I seek to do is remember the messiness, how haphazard it was, the luck involved, the clues picked up in conversations over coffee or hearing a seminar or conference paper.' (Introduction)


  • Epigraph: What the historians called a ‘fragment’—a weaver’s diary, a collection of poems by an unknown poet (and to these we might add all those literatures of India that Macaulay condemned, creation myths and women’s songs, family genealogies, and local traditions of history)—is of central importance in … thinking other histories.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Writing Histories: Imagination and Narration Ann Curthoys (editor), Ann McGrath (editor), Clayton : School of Historical Studies, School of Historical Studies, Monash University , 2000 Z1664714 2000 anthology criticism

    'For anyone wanting to write histories that capture the imagination and challenge the intellect. A useful text for teachers and students in history-writing classes.' (Publication summary)

    Clayton : Monash University ePress , 2009
Last amended 24 Feb 2017 14:25:35
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