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DanAllosso

DanAllosso

Currently reading

400 Years Of Freethought
Samuel Porter Putnam
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
Jon Meacham
Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version
Philip Pullman, Jacob Grimm
Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson
Jennifer Michael Hecht
The Kingdom of Matthias: A Story of Sex and Salvation in 19th-Century America
Paul E. Johnson, Sean Wilentz

The Return of Martin Guerre

The Return of Martin Guerre - Natalie Zemon Davis While Davis rightly argues that the rich settings and thorough backgrounds and back-stories help us enter the world these characters inhabited, this creates an air of narrative omniscience. Davis compounds this impression by stating conclusions (“Bertrande dreamed of a husband and lover who would come back, and be different”) rather than making qualified guesses. The wide-awake reader will realize that Davis cannot know Bertrande’s dreams and wishes, especially in the absence of documents. Davis might argue (and does in response to criticism) that Bertrande’s actions expose her thoughts. But the reader can be pulled along by the fast-moving story, and pass by the issue without even realizing it’s there. The book is most interesting in this context, as a sort-of how-to manual that can generate a discussion of whether historians ought to...