mercredi 23 février 2011
Alessandro Portelli, THE TEXT AND THE VOICE; WRITING, SPEAKING, AND DEMOCRACY IN AMERICAN LITERATURE, New York, Columbia University Press, 1994, 415 p
What allows oral history not only to enrich standard, documentary, and archival historiography but also to change and even to disrupt it is that, in oral sources, factual recollection merges with symbolic imagination to an extent unequaled by other sources. Therefore, oral history approaches truth as much when it depart from "facts" as when it records it carefully, because the errors and even the lies reveal, under scrutiny, the creative process of memory, imagination, symbolism, and interpretation that endow events with cultural significance. This liberating and intriguing power of oral history makes positivistic historians uneasy, but is bound to attract novelists, poets, and historians of the imagination.