The article deals with the specificity of historiographic narration, discussed partly on the grounds of a polemic with the works of Hayden White. The main theses focus around the notions of distance and genre. Literature and historiography are juxtaposed against each other to emphasise their shared unstability and genre flexibility that contradict the essential genre theory. Micro-histories and literary histories are considered from the view-point of diverse constructions of distance, conceived as a combination of formal, emotional, ideological and cognitive elements that shape a sense of the reader's involvement in the past. The scale of the distance which ought to accompany a near and dense description enables to discern certain types of micro-historical narratives.