The more complete text is called ‘The Autumn of the Middle Ages. . Norman Cantor, in Inventing the Middle Ages devotes five pages to Huizinga, in his closing. So begins one of the most famous works of history ever published, Johan Huizinga’s The Autumn of the Middle Ages. Few who have read this book in English. Published in , Johan Huizinga’s Herfsttij der middeleeuwen (Autumn of the Middle Ages and also known as Waning of the Middle Ages) is.

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The Autumn of the Middle Ages

Being wrong doesn’t seem enough, since scholars habitually find the stance, large ideas, and particular arguments of their colleagues defective or wrongheaded. Nov 21, Stephanie added it. Prevalent philosophical realism meant the raising of every detail of life and nature to the highest significance.

This is of course more than a minor insight. The importance of White’s analysis of such a scientific classic as Darwin’s Tlze Origin of Species was in part the proof it provided that any kind of literature was susceptible to such an analysis, and all history.?

Arnong these latter writers we have an ongoing cognitive opera- tion of separating the organic from the fossilized, the seed cone from the amber, the sonlething that is historically active, engaged with research agendas and teaching details, from the historically pcrssive, interesting for some other evi- dence-irrelevant reason.

It’s hard not to think of Foucault as one meanders through three hundred pages of tossed off analysis if how people thought about allegories five hundred years ago in northern france.

The Waning of the Middle Ages

The professional his- torian especially, just that person who for good or ill has the reins of the chariot of historical interpretation, has been repelled by this. Nevertheless, he achieved something unusually potent by his willing- ness to step fully into a period that was closely associated with failure, with much worth escaping, with darkness, and a wild pattern of wrinkles on a cheek so unlike our own.

View all 7 comments. The Waning of the Middle Ages is likely to appear on anyone’s list of the ten best books ever written on medieval history, and a plausible argument would place it near the top [it’s one of the all-time best sellers on the subject] … But Huizinga stands alone and remote from the ongoing dialogues in medieval studies.

To understand how the culture was aging is to understand an entirety. Huizinga is not really interested in change, however, even if his work fits nice- ly into a larger story that encompasses the supposed shift towards the modern. The book is an attempt to creat Bought this by mistake thinking it was a book by Burckhardt, which was obviously pretty stupid as it clearly says Huizinga on the cover. View freely available titles: The quotations are printed in their original language, with a footnote at the bottom.

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I found it similarly interesting for my own experience of the transition from the Late Modernism of my childhood to the early Postmodernism of my youth, and the Second Era of Globalization of my maturity.

He gives a very interesting perspective on this era and region I am not nearly enough of a historian to rate this book as overall correct or incorrect. I’m sure that in many ways his work has been superseded and its limited focus on the world between Rhine and Seine is apparent but it remains readable and full of autumnal flavours.

Huizinga’s work is a classic look at the literary and artistic culture of fifteenth century Burgundy and France.

Lists with This Book. Valla discovering that the donation of Constantine was a fake; Luther short-circuiting the shabby rationale of the medieval ecclesiastical machine; and everyone noting how the system had benefited the narrow interests of clergy and papacy.

Fhe are many signs that Huizinga did define a domain of research by his force- ful ideas that were worthy of attracting later criticism. I’d experience life as a fairy-story of young love like Maid Marian and Robin with dreams of living in the woods. This classic study of art, life, autkmn thought in France and the Netherlands during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries ranks as one of the most perceptive analyses of the medieval period.

I think I would’ve gotten midsle out of it if I had read it while I was still in school because it referenced names and events that sounded familiar but that I couldn’t quite place. The decay of overripe forms of civilization is as suggestive a spectacle as the growth of new ones.

There were quite a few quotes, some extensive, in French fortunately with Huizinnga footnotesoften from authors either obscure or unknown at least to me. Other insights fit within recent revi- sionary work, such as the linking of the persecution of witches and homosexuals, a theme congruent with the work of Robert Moore. There are new achievements even as there will be new standards of failure down this path of “innovation. The century is judged by the darnage it has done to its otvri norms, its forms.

Mid way through my cursory reading of European history I felt myself overwhelmed with names, dates and wars. Oddly perhaps, Huizinga did not generate the kind of afterburn of students and research that Burckhardt did.


Few who have read this book in English realize that The Waning of the Middle Ages, the only previous translation, is vastly different from the original Dutch, and incompatible with all other By it’s very nature this kind of study is always going to be unsuccessful. Because the foms are indigenous to the medieval period, because the age will hang itself, it is worthwhile abiding with it, giving it more careful attention than was habitual, even if the later medieval period is often “tedious and disappoint- ing.

Burckardt’s case is clearest, for he made himself synonymous with the Renaissance’s arrival and its significance: Bells acted in daily life like concerned good spirits who, with their familiar voice, proclaimed sadness or joy, calm or unrest, assembly or exhortation.

Evil is powerful, the devil covers a darkened earth with his black wings. One nlust be more careful with Michelet, Hume, or Hegel. The widespread fraud and duplicity assumed in some Enlightenment and Whiggish accounts are rendered irrelevant and superficial, as unconvincing as they were unsympathetic.

What sutumn do survive to give good reading more than seventy-five years after their first appearance? It depoliticizes the picture, side- stepping all sectarian and nationalist accounts. PaytonUlrich Mammitzsch. He gives a very interesting perspective on this era and region of history and he is nothing of not thought-provoking. Dat het me zes maanden kostte zegt denk ik al veel.

Other touches would have fit best with innovations advanced by historians less recently but also since Huizinga wrote. The fif- teenth century was more often discussed as a justification for the transport to summer, as prolegomenon to Renaissance and Reformation.

Huizinga is certainly read, but he may often have killed off the desire to read further in the period, filled with its “tedious,” “primitive” “excesses”-typical Huizinga words.

The Autumn of the Middle Ages – Johan Huizinga – Google Books

Furthermore, Huizinga’s is an insight that acknowledges the gap between periods, the basis of our failure to understand them-the others within the same tradition. Beautifully written, and presented here in a new rendering that’s far closer to the original text than the standard English version of “The Waning of the Middle Ages”.

First, we must give Huizinga his huziinga in understanding the book’s complex success and what it augurs.