O podobu národných dejín (1979)

Concerning National History (1979)

The original version of this article, published here with mere few stylistic corrections, was written in 1979 and presented at a private session of dissident intellectuals. The text was unpublishable under the regime of so called "normalization" period of state socialist Czechoslovakia. The article is published in the current issue of Forum Historiae for the first time. The author deals with the positions and functions of national history narratives in the Central European countries. He contemplates the development of historiography and the modes of construction of so-called national history. An essential part of the philosophy of national history is the definition of crucial milestones (identifying and construing the significance of individual events), characterization of fundamental epochs and periods in the historical past of nations, that is, the chronology of the nations' history. This is made by historians who naturally act in a complex set of interests and relationships of their social and professional environment. When examining the impact of external factors on the development of historical thinking and work, the ideal area is Central Europe. That is why the study focuses on the periodization of Slovak, Czech, Polish, Hungarian and Croatian history. Slovak historiography and periodization of Slovak history hold a separate place in the text together with extensive analysis of historical works, not just about modern Slovak history.