Gustave Flaubert was critical against the nineteenth-century epistemology of history, consistently debunking the weak aspects of our thinking about the past. Of special importance in this context are the writer's doubts regarding the myth of the 'origin', as expressed in his 'Hérodiade'. In this sense, Flaubert's novella is a story on the 'origin' of Christian culture and religion. However, we can spot therein three main mechanisms, used by the French author to undermine the absolute meaning of the'origin' and to develop his own historic writing model (starting with attempted authentication of the text, through deconstructing the story, up to awareness of discontinuity and incompleteness of any narrative on the past). This makes of Flaubert a modernist historiographer in whose opinion there is an 'origin' - which is not history, but rather, a myth.
P. Sniedziewski, Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza, Instytut Filologii Polskiej, Zaklad Literatury Romantyzmu, al. Niepodleglosci 4, 61-874 Poznan, Poland
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