In his fascinating ego-history La Chambre de veille and in his recent book Croire en l’histoire the well-known French historian François Hartog, who teaches historiography at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, reflects on his own formation and revisits some of the concepts which have been at the core of his production. The experience of travelling was fundamental to his approaches both on the ancient world and on the regimes of historicity. Equally important for his work have been on the one hand Claude Lévi-Strauss and Marshall Sahlins, and on the other Michel De Certeau. Reading Hartog, Porciani points to the specificities of the intellectual milieux of the Sorbonne and the Grandes Écoles in the 1970s, and focusses on the network that gathered around Pierre Vidal-Naquet and Jean Pierre Vernant, which was crucial for the definition of Hartog’s approaches. Porciani also discusses the notion of «presentism», as Hartog reconsiders it in the light of the belief in history. Finally, introducing an interview with Hartog, she also stresses the importance of literature in Hartog’s work, as well as in his way of analyzing different regimes of historicity.
Keywords: Regimes of historicity, Presentism, French historiography, History and literature