The Journal of Historical Fictions

Jeffrey Brassard

Slavophilism, nostalgia and the curse of Western ideas: Reflections on Russia’s past in Alexander Proshkin’s 2006 adaptation of Doctor Zhivago

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia experienced a decade in which their television industry produced little new programming. This trend started to reverse in the late 1990s with new series that were meditations on Russian history, the country’s place in the world and dissident works. One of the most significant examples is the 2006 adaptation of Boris Pasternak’s novel Doctor Zhivago (1957).

JHF 1:2, 2017, 111—129Download article as pdf.

Julius Redzinski

Making the fiction visible: Even the Rain and cinematic and historiographical discourses about history

The 2010 production Even the Rain, directed by Icíar Bollain follows a fictional crew making a historical production critical of Columbus and the Spanish conquest of the Americas. Even The Rain juxtaposes epic scenes from the film within the film with the stages of its production. This article analyses how in Even the Rain the construction of the historical film’s narrative is made transparent. It discusses the additional discursive layer that engages with the employment of source material and the ideological implications of the film project, and concludes with the ability of Even the Rain to raise critical awareness among the viewers.

JHF 1:2, 2017, 131—147Download article as pdf.

Mareike Katharina Schumacher

The efoto-project: Narrative construction of the past and semi-automated data curation

The efoto project is a cooperation between the Cultural Ministry of Hamburg, the University of Hamburg and numerous archives, museums and libraries of the city. Its overall aim is to create a large image database of the city and make it accessible to the public. Access is provided via a mobile application which has been developed as part of the project. In the content narratives are seen as the central link between image data and users, and the images in the database can be enriched with narrative elements at different levels. In this article we want to show how scientific insights and workflows are used to create or initiate narratives that supplement the historical photographs. In our attempt to develop the model we used strategies from narrative and cultural theory, digital humanities and historiography. This article outlines the process of semi-automated data curation through a case study about the German pirate Claus Stoertebeker.

JHF 1:2, 2017, 149—173Download article as pdf.

Jake Walters

Fractured places and subjective spaces – Historical objectivity and individual agency in Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs. Miller

Scholarly analysis of director Robert Altman’s McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) often centralises the film’s disruptive contrast between a passive male figure and a more assertive female. This dialectic jeopardises both the individual male dominance in the American Western historical mythos and the narrative of individual agency so central to popular cinematic conceptions of history. Yet fewer scholars have moved beyond narrative and dissected the formal cinematic mechanics of the film.

JHF 1:2, 2017, 175—192Download article as pdf.