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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Dominique Venner: Not a historian

The suicide of Dominique Venner in Notre Dame, shortly after writing a blog post calling for resistance against the law allowing gay marriage in France and leaving a note on the altar, presumably setting out his political justifications, has been reported as the suicide of a 'far right historian' (here).  Let's be clear.  Venner was not an historian.  At least as far as I have been able to ascertain he had no formal academic qualification or accreditation in the discipline.  He was a far right extremist with an interest in weaponry who wrote some populist books about history, to - shall we say - mixed reception.  

Once again we see the phenomenon I have discussed before, where anyone with an interest in the past who manages to get a book published is allowed to style him/herself a historian.

Oh, and by the way, good riddance.

4 comments:

  1. Weird, isn't it? In English Lit, some Sunday newspaper reviewers publish works of criticism, but there isn't a general sense that anybody with an axe to grind is a literary critic. But in history apparently anybody can have a go.

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  2. The Guardian coverage continues to refer to him as a historian. *sigh*

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  3. as we say in Paris, "total respect"

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