Formulating the question accordingly points to a textualist approach, which sees language not only as an object of contemplation and communication but also as an instrument of action and power. The study asks, how do we actually do history and why the results look as they do? In other words, it is set in the theoretical field of inquiry interested in the questions of historical discourses and the intertextual field of history-writing within which these discourses are formed.
Through a close reading of a major, official historical narrative the study contributes both to the history of history-writing in Finland and to the understanding of the nationalistic discourse around the turn of the century. Aspelin-Haapkylä's Theatre History is a good example of nationalistic history-writing and as such perhaps of interest outside the disciplinary confines of the theatre studies or the national borders of Finland.
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