역사학 고전 다시읽기 - “치즈에서 구더기가 생기듯이” : 16세기 이단자와 20세기 역사가
- 역사학 고전 다시읽기 - “치즈에서 구더기가 생기듯이” : 16세기 이단자와 20세기 역사가
- Other Titles
- “Just As Worms Are Produced from a Cheese”: A Sixteenth-Century Heretic and a Twentieth-Century Historian
- 치즈와 구더기; 카를로 긴즈부르그; 민중문화; 미시사; 추론적 패러다임; The Cheese and the Worms; Carlo Ginzburg; Popular Culture; Microhistory; Evidential Paradigm
- Issue Date
- 서양사론, no.122, pp.221 - 245
- This review offers a chance to reread and rethink Carlo Ginzburg’s The Cheese and the Worms, a masterpiece of twentieth-century historiography. As is well known, this book is about the consciousness and the cultural world of Domenico Scandella called Menocchio, a sixteenth-century miller of Montereale in the Friuli,who was executed as a heretic in 1599. Ginzburg expertly narrates Menocchio’s thoughts or fantasies by means of the remaining records of two trials. His narrative is strongly supported by a cogent theory of the popular culture. Of importance is that historian’s thinking process for theorizing is transparently revealed in the text.
Accordingly, as Ginzburg said, hypothesizing and reasoning become part of the narration. This combination of narrative and theory is, indeed, a distinctive characteristic of “microhistory” - a genre developed by a group of Italian historians. According to Giovanni Levi and Edoardo Grendi among them, microhistory works on an extremely reduced scale, and yet tests the accepted generalizations and familiar formulations derived from macro-analysis or total history.
Of course, the cases of trivial events or ordinary people might create doubt about whether these could represent the general and the normal. But Grendi could defend microhistory by suggesting that the exceptional sources can be exceptionally normal. In this regard, what deserves serious attention, as Tony Molho pointed out, is that for Ginzburg microhistory was a means for arriving at a goal. He tried to grasp an epistemological model which he himself impressively called the “evidential paradigm (paradigma indiziario)” juxtaposed to a so-called “Galileian paradigm (paradigma galileiano)” which was based on the quantitative and antianthropocentric model. Finally, there is no doubt that The Cheese and the Worms is a great achievement that tells us the autonomous popular culture and the complicated relation between elite culture and peasant culture through a profound heretical thinker.
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