Journal article

Mimic toil: Eighteenth-century preconditions for the modern historical reenactment

Simon During

RETHINKING HISTORY | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2007

Abstract

This article analyses certain of the cultural and social conditions of possibility underpinning the modern historical reenactment. It places these conditions in the second half of the eighteenth century, when a new relationship between the past and present emerged: in effect, the present was then cut off from the past in terms that allowed the past to become the source for various modes of (often increasingly 'authentic') mimesis rather than continuity or recovery. This mimetic relation between present and past had both public and private dimensions. The article makes its case with passing reference to several examples: (i) the theorization of mimesis in Richard Hurd's secular essays; (ii) U..

View full abstract

University of Melbourne Researchers