French publisher and writer Ivan Jablonka, professor of history at the University of Paris 13, said that “in history there are areas of doubt and uncertainty, questions about truth and reality, as the historian formulates working hypotheses and imagines possibilities and futures.” and thus it produces a form of imagination.”
The French historian explained during a lecture he gave on Thursday evening at the Higher Institute of Government in Rabat in partnership with the Institut Français that the imagination is a way of expressing the reality of society, noting that “in Madame Bovary’s novel, no one can deny the existence of Mrs. Bovary; But we know that the whole novel is a figment of the writer’s imagination.”
In this regard, Ivan Yablonka pointed out that history is not fiction, sociology is not a novel, anthropology is not exotic, and all three are subject to methodological rules, noting that “within this framework, nothing prevents a researcher from writing.”
A university professor specializing in history believed that reconciling the social sciences with literary creativity means striving to write more freely, originally, fairly, and more reflectively, rather than pacify the scientific nature of the study; On the contrary, strengthen it.
The lecturer emphasized that “the scriptures of reality — reports, investigations, stories about life and testimonies — are literature open to the world, intersecting with logic that seeks not only to depict reality; But understand it. Write to speak the truth. Since history can be modern literature, there is something of modern history in literature. The same can be said about other social sciences.
The French researcher and historian added: “People do not read books on the social sciences and humanities; Rather, she prefers novels and detective stories. Also, students have become more connected with law, medicine and agriculture, and a small group of them tend to study history and the humanities.”
He said that “history is the historian’s statement of facts, that is, the realistic knowledge of events”, noting that history is “truthful narration”. He also emphasized that history is not a science that is only written and that there is no approach or methodology for writing history, calling for the isolation of history from sociology.
In the same course, the same historian pointed out that history can be literature, but not all historians are writers; Some historians oppose writing and blogging, emphasizing that “a writer cannot expose his works by admitting to the reader that the events of his novel are a figment of his imagination.”