This essay investigates the significance that historical repetition had for people living during the French Revolution. The aim is to assess to what extent the idea that events might repeat themselves in the future influenced the historical actors of the time. After a brief analysis of the two main models used to understand historical repetition, those of Chateaubriand and Marx, and a critical review of how historical repetition has been treated in the historiographical literature, we discuss the sociological category of the self- fulfilling prophecy as a tool to understand the arguments put forward by historical actors. From an analysis of the debates on the likelihood of past events repeating themselves, which took place at crucial times during the French revolutionary process, we reach the conclusion that what these instances are not self-fulfilling prophecies. We show how these arguments may be viewed as attempts to assess the probability of a given event, but also as performative tools capable of influencing the outcome of a situation and in some way, unexpectedly, «constructing» it. We conclude that the concept of historical repetition had a much greater bearing on the French Revolution than it has so far been supposed.
|Titolo:||Il mistero della ripetizione. La Rivoluzione francese e le repliche della storia|
|Autori interni:||BENIGNO, Francesco|
DI BARTOLOMEO, DANIELE
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|