Alexandre Herculano entre a imparcialidade e a parcialidade

História da Historiografia 13 (32):289-329 (2020)
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Abstract

Throughout Alexandre Herculano’s historical oeuvre claims of impartiality are mingled with the partiality of the beliefs, ideals, and interests that give shape to the author’s point of view. One can trace in it both the commitment to the disinterested search for truth and the pragmatic intention to remodel the relations of Portuguese society with its past and with the effects of this past on the present. This text revisits Herculano’s major historical writings with the aim of understanding how it is possible for historical texts to be or claim to be at the same time true and useful, objective and engaged, impartial and partial. I intend to show that those oppositions not necessarily entail paralyzing contradictions, and that good historians such as Herculano are usually capable of drawing from them a great amount of intellectual energy. Focusing on the tension between impartiality and partiality, and supported by close readings and contextual analyses, I will try to demonstrate that such tension configures itself in at least two different modes, which in turn depend on the positive or negative significance the studied past turns out to have for the person who studies it.

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Arthur Alfaix Assis
Universidade de Brasília

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