By Idriss Jebari. In their hearts, historians are first storytellers who seek to offer intelligible narratives of the past. Ever since Hayden White’s Metahistory, the border between history and literature has become less meaningful. Yet, valid questions remain: can a passage from a novel be used with the same factual authority as, say, a newspaper clipping, a police report, or a population register? What about a personal diary or a set of exchanged letters?