Can facts remain pristine, insulated from the anti-realist’s scrutiny? Even if there is a tradition about history that allows for the givenness of facts

themselves, when it comes to writing history, how much good will this do us? Not much, if Hayden White is right in his claim that the narrative structure of historical writing renders all facts fictive because of the requirements of coherence.1 But, the requirement of coherence notwithstanding, it does not follow from this alone that realism about the facts cannot be maintained. After all, a priori, there is no reason to think that the dictates of realism and considerations of coherence are incompatible.