When is history, History? In the Genre sense?
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For example, would I class Wolf of Wall Street (from the 1980s) a Historical Narrative, or is it still a Contemporary Narrative? Thanks Guys.
The concept also changes depending on the age of the beholder. I remember my father being appalled by some things I didn't know about the history in WWII and the depression. Im appalled that I have to explain President Nixon to my young colleagues. And so it goes..
I also wonder if the 24/7 news cycle is changing the way we think about history. We are so bombared by news that history is changing every day.
>3 paradoxosalpha: I like your idea of how and by whom its reelated tho I don't agree it has to be third party. If that were the case, so many first person accounts would not apply.
When I think of history, I think of an event that has made an impact on present events. Which means that everything is history. Its all so confusing....but a fun discussion
In my view, looking for an exact number of years is pushing a calendar concept to events that do not follow them. For example in Bulgaria, 1989 is the year when the regime changed and that's where the history of the world regime ends and the children of the times have their own children now... A revolution in 1976 will make it the boundary for the country that went through it. At the same time the Arabian spring is too new to be merely history.
For your example - I would say "historical" - not because of the number of years that had passed but because of the major changes in Wall Street since then - including the crisis of the last decade...
Thinking about it though, the answer (to me) is rather quite logical. History, simply covers a dedicated time period, ie 1950s, 1800s, or a major event, such as the GFC or 9/11, that involves many people. To me, I would then catalogue it as history.
If the event follows a central person or story that links events together as a story, then I would tag it under both 'Narrative' and its relevant time period, '1980s'.
Thanks guys. Appreciate the discussion.
Well, the topic hadn't been going here (in this group), and I don't think this is a bad place for it.
The qualifier "involves many people" has been actively resisted by some professional historians for the last few decades with output in the "microhistory" subgenre, for which The Return of Martin Guerre is a an early paragon. The debate around that book seems especially germane to the issues of defining history generally and the boundaries between academic history and historical fiction more particularly.
There is a place for history books written just after events, even though they may need to be replaced a few years later.