Lesson 1 (from Part 1, Chapters 1-2)
Part 1, Chapters 1-2
The book begins with a story about Michelet, his research, and the moment when he discovered Vico. Wilson dramatizes the moment. This lesson discusses Wilson's tone and style of telling history.
1) Close Reading: Read the first few pages aloud, paying close attention to the cadence and tone of the language. What authority does Wilson develop as a historian? Within what frame of reference does he include his tale? For example, what is his relationship with the "grand narrative" style of history?
2) Point of View: From whose point of view does Wilson describe Michelet's research? Can we see Wilson's personal point of view and his interest in his subject? Does he include his own point of view? If so, to what extent?
3) Class Discussion: If Wilson is writing about history as people lived it, how much is he obligated to include about his...
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