Making periodisation possible. The concept of the course of time (Zeitverlaufsvorstellung) in historical thinking

 

Preprint Jörn Rüsen

 

1. Levels of time in historical thinking

<1>

Periodization is a cognitive procedure by which the totality of history is divided into several parts. This partition makes it easier to concretize the course of history and to concentrate on special issues of understanding the past. The periods we are familiar with (like antiquity, medieval time, early modern history, contemporary history etc.) are well established. Nevertheless, from time to time they have been criticized as outdated, but they are still in use and reflected as concepts of historical thinking. As parts of a whole they presuppose an idea of this whole unity. But in contrast to the issue of periodization, the totality of history has not become a standard issue in the discourse of historical studies.

<2>

It is the aim of this paper to analyze this pre-position of history as a temporal whole. For this procedure the issue of time in general has to be taken into consideration, since it is time that is at stake whatever may be said about the periodization and history in general.

<3>

Time is an essential element in historical thinking.[1] It provokes and challenges it as an experience of change in the human world. Change always happens and people have to come to terms with it. They need a clear idea of what change in the human world is about. In many civilizations this idea is called ‘history’. Today all over the world history is a cultural means, which enables people to find their place in the ongoing change of the world outside and within themselves. History tells them what happened in the past in such a way that they get a future perspective of their lives and can place their activities and sufferings in the ongoing temporal processes of their world.

<4>

History is a meaningful interrelation between past, present and future. It presents the past as a chain of events leading to the present and opening a perspective of the future. By doing so it refers in different ways to time.

<5>

First, it is provoked by the experience of time in the present, mainly in the form of contingency. Second it refers to the changes of the human world in the past. Third it places the present time in a comprehensive relationship with the past and the future, and fourth this concept serves the future-directed intentions and expectations of human activity.

<6>

In all four respects time has a meaning.[2] It is more than only a relationship between before and after, more than only a change of the circumstances of human life and more than a simple chronicle of affairs. Historians need a chronological order of time, so that they may arrange the events of the past in a reasonable and comparable way. In our days of an intensifying intercultural communication such an order is all the more useful if there is no meaning concerning the events in their natural or physical order. At the very moment when the events of the past are interrelated with a historical order, their physical placing in time becomes enriched by historical meaning. This meaning changes a simple chronological order into a perspective of development and provides it with an explanatory function.

<7>

I would like to address this fundamental qualification which time achieves as a frame for historical meaning. It is a logical presupposition of each historical cognition, including periodization, of course. But it is rarely expressed in the discourse of professional historians. It is a condition of possibility for their work, pre-given in the historical culture of their time and mainly reflected in the academic field of philosophy of history.

<8>

In order to consider this problem I would like to propose a list of levels of time in historical thinking (in a sequence of growing abstraction):

  • level of existential experience of time: before/after, changes, coming into life/passing away, contingency;
  • level of experiencing temporal change in the past; (like the process of modernization);
  • level of temporal perspectives as frames for interpreting the chain of events in the past (like rise and fall; progress);
  • level of a comprehensive perspective of temporal changes in the past;
  • level of fundamental principles of meaning of temporal change: concept of the course of time [Zeitverlaufsvorstellung].[3]

 

2. The unity of history

<9>

Usually history is presented in single parts of change, which happened in the past (like the history of the 19th century, the history of the French Revolution, etc.). But these presentations use time perspectives, which are constructed by general principles of meaning. The most fundamental and generally used principle is that of a general meaning of time in the human world.[4] It defines history as a field of thinking, as a frame of reference, which includes all events which happened in the past. It integrates the evidence of the past into an encompassing dimension. It decides the selection of events as more or less important for historical knowledge; it decides the mode of explanation which combines different events to a meaningful sequence. It transforms chronology into history. It gives the changes in the past a direction at the end of which the present appears. It endows historical narration with a plot of temporal development which may serve as a part of the temporal orientation of human life in the present. It makes the events of the past narratable in their temporal connection and gives this connection an explanatory function.

<10>

A well-known example for such a comprehensive frame of time is the idea of progress. Other examples are: continuity/discontinuity, development, evolution, decay, rise and fall. In the social sciences it is worked out as a theory of social or cultural evolution.[5] In premodern times of the West one of the most powerful time concepts of this universalistic dimension was the idea of providentia Dei, the Providence of God.

<11>

This idea of time appears in very different forms: as a divine being, or metaphorical image, a philosophy of history.[6] Walter Benjamin’s ‘Angel of history’[7] is a prominent description of this constituting force in shaping history as a meaningful phenomenon in the human world.[8]

There is a painting by Klee called Angelus Novus. An angel is depicted there who looks as though he were about to distance himself from something which he is staring at. His eyes are opened wide, his mouth stands open and his wings are outstretched. The Angel of History must look just so. His face is turned towards the past. Where we see the appearance of a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe, which unceasingly piles rubble on top of rubble and hurls it before his feet. He would like to pause for a moment so fair [verweilen: a reference to Goethe’s Faust], to awaken the dead and to piece together what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise, it has caught itself up in his wings and is so strong that the Angel can no longer close them. The storm drives him irresistibly into the future, to which his back is turned, while the rubble-heap before him grows sky-high. That which we call progress, is this storm.[9]

Fig. I Paul Klee, Angelus Novus, 1920, oil transfer and watercolor on paper, 31.8 x 24.2 cm, Israel Museum, Jerusalem. (Rights unresolved)

<12>

History is a unit, a whole or totality of time, which mediates past, present, and future in a highly complex network of meaning (including meaninglessness). Time as the fundament of history can be represented in one single symbol or metaphor (indicating its unit). We find a lot of examples I early modern (Western) history, like the following one (Fig. II): [10]

Fig. II (rights unresolved)

<13>

It presents “father time” (a figure coming from antiquity, reprenting the God Chronos), running on the wheel of fortune. In his left he holds the snake Uroboros. This snake traditionally biting its own tale—stands for a cyclical concept of time as permanent repetition. As an element of history, however, this circle is kept open, since history as a narrative is always based on a linear course of time. The wild loose hair on top of time’s head symbolizes “opportunity” (one has to catch it). In his right hand chronos holds a sickle. Originally he was the God of harvest; but the sickle’s meaning shrank to “cutting” time into single moments, bringing about the fugacity of time.[11]

<14>

A modern allegory of history as a comprehensive time unit can be seen in the head of the international newspaper Herald Tribune: Assembled around three symbols of time (sand glass, father time, clock) the premodern period—characterized by agriculture and Greek pillars—and the modern period, characterized by industry and technology can be detected . Modern in this allegory is the distinction between past and future—an asymmetrical relationship of the time dimensions in history.[12]

<15>

Here are some further (visual) examples for representing the idea of time in different countries and times (Fig. III–V).

 

Fig. III Old Egypt: Thot, god of the savants and writers, god of counting time and of calendar. As god of the moon he dictates with the phases of the moon time. See Günther Roeder, ed., Ägyptische Mythologie. Mythe und Legenden (Düsseldorf, Zürich: Artemis & Winkler, 1998), 39, fig. 6: Subscription: “Thot writes for a king the year of his reign on the palm-leaf signifying ‘year’.” (Rights unresolved)

 

Fig. IV Georg Sickinger (1558–1631): Veritas Filia Temporis, ex: Elfriede Bock, Die Zeichnungen in der Universitätsbibliothek Erlangen. Tafelband (Frankfurt: Prestel, 1929), Abb. 1032. (Rights unresolved)

 

Fig. V Frontispiece of Joseph-Francois Lafiteau (1681–1746): Mœurs des sauvages américains comparées aux mœurs des premier temps, 1724, Paris. “Father time tells history about the beginning and end of human history as a frame of understanding the new world of America.” (Rights unresolved)

<16>

Finally, a cartoon from 1992, showing that the traditional symbol of ‘father time’ is still is use.[13]

 

Fig. VI Cartoon Father Time, ex: Peter Gendolla, Zeit. Zur Geschichte der Zeiterfahrung (Köln: DuMont, 1992), 57. (Rights unresolved)

 

3. Four types of comprehending time in history

<17>

The multitude and divergence of the representations of time in history can be ordered according to a general typology of meaning construction in history. There are four different types of providing temporal change a historical meaning. In a very schematic way these types will be described in the typology below.[14]

<18>

The typology does not concentrate on the literary form of historical writing. It focusses on systematically identifying those aspects that determine the interpretation of the human past as something specifically historical. These four types together cover the entire spectrum of historical representation of the past.

<19>

The types are ideal types, single logical components of meaning in history. They are deliberately abstracted from concrete phenomena and developed as ‘pure’ narrative structures of meaning. As logical components of the formation of historical meaning they are effective and verifiable in the concrete forms of historical culture. However, they seldom or never appear clearly or distinctly in concrete phenomena. The practical applicability of this typology lies in helping us to recognize and discern specific structures of meaning and their guiding principles for historiographic forms, and even for historical thinking in general. Its analytical value lies in its clear logical difference and in the scope of possibilities in its complex system of relationships.

<20>

There are four possible ways to actualize the human past in the structural meaning of narrative for the sake of cultural orientation. They are traditional, exemplary, genetic and critical types of narrative.

<21>

A traditional narrative represents history in such a way that its primary meaning (that grants meaning and practical orientation) is presented as staying the same over time. Historical meaning here attains the form of an intertemporal eternity: that which perseveres in the world appears in the shifting winds of time as perpetual meaning, an enduring concept in the ordering of human life.

<22>

Historical representations that follow this logic serve to confirm and reinforce this continuity. The dominant notion of the course of time in traditional narrative is that of continuity through the ages. These traditional histories are mediated through a produced and continuously reproduced agreement about the validity of universal origins. All the changes that might occur in the temporal happenings of the human world are fixed in the permanence of one normative and paradigmatic event.

<23>

In contrast, the second type, or the exemplary formation of meaning, opens up the horizon of experience in historical thinking and turns all its accumulated experience and evidence into a pillar for orientation in the present. The view of history becomes open to everything that happened in the human past. Historical thinking approaches these events as a plethora of events or situations that, despite their spatial and temporal diversity, present concrete cases that demonstrate the general rules of human activity with timeless validity. Here, time is not immobilized in an innertemporal fashion of eternity through historical meaning but instead has a timeless quality. History functions as a teacher of life (historia vitae magistra).[15] The contingent nature of time in actual historical events gains its meaning because these events reveal principles that drive action that spans across all differences in time. In the framework of this exemplary form of narrative, historical thinking unfolds its power of judgement: history teaches us to generate general principles regarding the human organization of life from separate, isolated or individual events or things. We can apply these principles to concrete cases of actual events occurring around us in real time. History facilitates our agency. In the perspective of timelessly valid rules of engagement, the events of the past span across space and time into diverse processes and activities. In a metaphorical sense, we could say that exemplary narrative spatializes time as meaning in the case of a historical event that leaves the narrowness of a predefined universal order and grounds human action in general rules through reflexive insights.

<24>

As with the traditional narrative, the exemplary version immobilizes time, but it does so on a higher level of timeless and accepted insights.

<25>

The logic behind the genetic narrative is based on the idea that change creates or makes meaning. The events of the past in their temporal movement no longer appear within the confines of fixed practical principles of human ways of life. Rather they establish a dynamic process of transformation that takes the edge off change in the human world and shakes off the eternal value of accepted norms. Instead, change itself becomes the proper human way of life. The past appears as change that relates our own way of life to previous ones in such a way that change can be seen as an opportunity. The relevant notion of the course of time here is one of development, in which the change occurring in human lives is understood as a dynamic process by which they gain continuity. Genetic historical narratives are based on the idea that differences in time that orientate human action towards future situations have not been predefined by the past. The relationship between experience of the past and our expectations for the future is asymmetrical. In summary, we can say that time is temporalized as meaning.

<26>

The fourth type of historical narrative is the critical narrative. It has a special status. It only asserts itself as a negation of the other three narratives. Critical narrative destroys and deconstructs culturally predetermined traditional, exemplary and genetic interpretive patterns. It focuses on events that challenge established historical orientations. Its relevant notion of the passing of time is one of disruption, discontinuity and contradiction. The structure of meaning of a history is characterized through (negative) interpretation or assessment of the past.

 

The four types of forming historical meaning:

Type Concept for the Passing of Time Time as Meaning
Traditional Continuity through change Time is immortalized as meaning
Exemplary Timeless validity of rules of human life that encompass temporally different ways of life Time is spatialized as meaning
Genetic Developments in which ways of life change in order to remain dynamic Time is temporalized as meaning
Critical Disruptions, discontinuity, contradictions Time is assessable as meaning

<27>

The typology does not concentrate on the literary form of historical writing. It focusses on systematically identifying those aspects that determine the interpretation of the human past as something specifically historical. These four types together cover the entire spectrum of historical representation of the past.

<28>

The types are ideal types, single logical components of meaning in history. They are deliberately abstracted from concrete phenomena and developed as ‘pure’ narrative structures of meaning. As logical components of the formation of historical meaning they are effective and verifiable in the concrete forms of historical culture. However, they seldom or never appear clearly or distinctly in concrete phenomena. The practical applicability of this typology lies in helping us to recognize and discern specific structures of meaning and their guiding principles for historiographic forms, and even for historical thinking in general. Its analytical value lies in its clear logical difference and in the scope of possibilities in its complex system of relationships.

<29>

Each type has a specific idea of meaning of time and accordingly a specific concept of the course of time in history. All types are still effective in historical thinking in very different constellations and interrelationships. In a universal historical perspective, the traditional type is the oldest and the most fundamental and the genetical type is the latest and most topical one characterizing modernity in historical thinking. It is an open question whether the change in the media of cultural communication from scripture to the new electronic media we are witnessing and pursuing today will bring about a new type with a new logic of historical thinking. Let us see.

<30>

Why is the consideration of this philosophical issue of the temporal whole of history useful for the work of the professional historians? There are at least three arguments in favor of such a reflection:

  • Against a widespread fragmentation of historical knowledge it keeps together and integrates the manifold fields and forms of experience of the human past.
  • Against the neglect of evidence in most parts of metahistory today it may bring back the importance of experience and evidence into historical thinking.
  • Chronology must be enriched by fundamental principles of the meaning of time, otherwise the interrelationship between the manifold, multifaceted and different representations of the past will become (or even remain) arbitrary, if not chaotic.

 

4. Problems today

<31>

Today history meets radical challenges which put the established ideas of time into doubt. Time as such is only addressed in a criticism of the Western concept of chronology since it refers to a Christian measurement.[16] But this criticism is not very convincing, since the original Christian meaning has faded away, and the senseless counting of numbers remained. Chronology is all the more useful the more it has no meaning for its contents.

Another problem is a growing post-ism in placing the work of the humanities into a post-position, i.e. the present is addressed only as a time after another time. This post-ism indicates a loss of confidence in the course of history. Indeed mainly for the Western intelligentsia the future is not a space for hope, but on the contrary, it is expected as a time of a possible catastrophe. Finding no place for one’s own presence in the course of time will have consequences for historical thinking. The past is losing its meaning; meaning appears only as a construction, which is no longer rooted in evidence but only estimated as an invention of the historians.

This losing the ground of evidence under the historians’ feet is a challenge for theory of history. It has to reflect the temporality of human life and its cultural output in a new way, looking for meaning in the anthropological and existential foundations of cultural orientation.

<32>

A further challenge of historical thinking is the postcolonial criticism of the traditional treatment of non-Western cultures. Facing the needs for a new orientation vis-à-vis the power of globalization, we need a new universal idea of time, which covers the multitude and diversity of human life forms in space and time. To develop such an idea we should use our knowledge of anthropological universals, existential dimensions of human life and the evolution of human culture across its various manifestations. The guideline of this new approach to the meaning of historical time should be our common understanding of what it means to be a human being. If we historized this meaning, we may be led to the idea of time as a process of humanizing humans. This again commits historical thinking to a new humanistic approach to historical experience and its cognition as a self-awareness of humankind.[17]

 

[1] See Jörn Rüsen, ed., Zeit deuten. Perspektiven – Epochen – Paradigmen (Bielefeld: Transcript, 2003); Jörn Rüsen, ed., Time and History. The Variety of Cultures (New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2007); Chun-Chieh Huang and John B. Henderson, eds., Notions of Time in Chinese Historical Thinking (Hongkong: Chinese University Press, 2006).

[2] See Jörn Rüsen, ed., Meaning and Representation in History (New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2006).

[3] I have analyzed this level in my theory of history: Jörn Rüsen, ed., Evidence and Meaning. A Theory of Historical Studies (New York, Oxford: Berghahn, 2017), passim.

[4] See Günter Dux, Die Zeit in der Geschichte. Ihre Entwicklungslogik von Mythos zur Weltzeit (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1989).

[5] Examples: Bernhard Giesen, Die Entdinglichung des Sozialen. Eine evolutionstheoretische Perspektive auf die Postmoderne (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1991); Bernhard Giesen, “On Axial Ages and other Thresholds between Epochs”, in Shaping a Humane World. Civilizations – Axial Times – Modernities – Humanisms, eds. Oliver Kozlarek, Jörn Rüsen, and Ernst Wolff (Bielefeld: Transcript 2012), 95–110; Johann P. Arnason, S. N. Eisenstadt, and Björn, Wittrock, eds., Axial Civilisations and World History (Leiden: Brill 2005); Günter Dux, Historico-genetic Theory of Culture. On the Processual Logic of Cultural Change (Bielefeld: Transcript 2011).

[6] See Jörn Rüsen, ed., Zeit deuten. Perspektiven – Epochen – Paradigmen (Bielefeld: Transcript 2003).

[7] Walter Benjamin, “Über den Begriff der Geschichte,” in Gesammelte Schriften I (part 2) (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp 1991), 691–704 [Walter Benjamin, “Theses on History” in Illuminations, ed. Hannah Arendt (New York: Schocken, 1985)].

[8] See Marion Kintzinger, “Der Engel der Geschichte. Gestaltungsformen historischen Denkens in der Frühen Neuzeit und bei Walter Benjamin,” Archiv für Kulturgeschichte 81 (1999): 149–172.

[9] Walter Benjamin, “On the Concept of History,” § 9, accessed January 9, 2018, https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/benjamin/1940/history.htm.

[10] See Marion Kintzinger, Chronos und Historia. Studien zur Titelblattikonographie historiographischer Werke vom 16. bis zum. 18. Jahrhundert (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1995), 272, fig. 53.

[11] Raymund Klibansky, Erwin Panofsky, and Fritz Saxel, Saturn und Melancholie. Studien zur Geschichte der Naturphilosophie und Medizin, der Religion und der Kunst (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1990).

[12] Reinhart Koselleck “Historia Vitae Magistra,” in Futures past, Reinhart Koselleck (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1985), 21–38.

[13] Peter Gendolla, Zeit. Zur Geschichte der Zeiterfahrung (Köln: DuMont, 1992), 57.

[14] Rüsen, Evidence and Meaning , 161 (see note 2). I follow the text in an abridged form. See also: Jörn Rüsen, “Narrative Competence: The Ontogeny of Historical and Moral Consciousness,” in History. Narration – Interpretation – Orientation, Jörn Rüsen (New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2005) 21–39.

[15] Cicero De oratore II, 36.

[16] See Masayuki Sato, “Comparative Ideas of Chronology,” in History and Theory 30 (1991): 275–301; Masayuki Sato, “Time, Chronology, and Periodisation in History,” in International Encyclopaedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences 23, eds. Neil J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2001), 15686–15692.

[17] See Jörn Rüsen, “Humanism. Anthropology – Axial Ages – Modernities,” in Shaping a Humane World. Civilizations – Axial Times – Humanisms, eds. Oliver Kozlarek, Jörn Rüsen, and Ernst Wolff (Bielefeld: Transcript 2011), 55–79.

This work is licensed under a Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0). Except for the illustrations.


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2 Responses

  1. Editorial Board says:

    Comment by Renate Dürr:
    This is a very handy summary of Jörn Rüsen’s own theory on periodization and concepts of time as they have been discussed in up until the years 2000. It will certainly be useful in teaching. I like the systematic way of presenting different time concepts and the clear overview character of this chapter which absolutely serves its purpose to explain the starting point of the whole volume in question. Although it is understandable that the author doesn’t develop his critics on the growing post-isms further, it is a pity that this chapter stops where the book begins. I think any reader would be interested in knowing more about Rüsen’s understanding of new debates on time concepts from a global perspective. So, I would like to suggest to add one or two pages on what he calls the challenge of historical thinking in postcolonial theory.

  2. Barbara Mittler says:

    Lieber Herr Rüsen!
    Dies ist ein wunderbarer Aufsatz, der vieles anspricht, was in diesem Band verhandelt werden soll und eine Typologie vorgibt, die anhand der konkreten Beispiele, die der Band bietet, auch getestet werden kann. Deswegen wäre es natürlich nützlich, hier Querverweise einzuschalten. Sicher wichtig wäre es also, die Fussnoten etwas aufzuweiten auf einige der Werke, die in den anderen Aufsätzen zitiert werden, und es wäre auch wichtig, das Vokabular entsprechend der anderen Aufsätze zu erweitern. Ein Dialog mit den anderen Aufsätzen in diesem Band (vor allem aber denen, die in ihrer Sektion vorkommen, Nipperdey, Stanziani, Banerjee et al) bietet sich an. Das Vokabular aus den anderen Aufsätzen, chronologics, chronotropesype, und vor allem auch die Idee des chronotrope (besonders entwicklet bei Heather Ferguson, im neuen Teil 2, das ist eigentlich eine Begrifflichkeit, die Ihre 4 Typen zusammenfasst) wäre sicher sinnvoll einzubringen.
    Vielleicht können Sie die Aufsätze des Bandes daraufhin durchschauen, und sehen, ob und wo Sie auf interessante methodische Begrifflichkeiten und sinnvoll einzubauende Fallbeispiele stoßen. Ich habe an einigen Stellen auch entsprechende Vorschläge gemacht, wo man Querverweise einbringen könnte. Die Bemerkungen unten sind manchmal nur sprachlich (das English Editing folgt noch), diese würde ich bitten zu übernehmen, ab und an mache ich auch inhaltliche Vorschläge und gehen in diese konkretisierende Richtung. Wenn hier Änderungen vorgenommen würden, wäre Erhebliches getan, um den Band besser zusammenzuhalten und das Gespräch, das wir in Berlin angefangen haben tatsächlich fortzuführen!

    DUMMERWEISE WERDEN STREICHUNGEN UND KORREKTUREN IM ENGLISCHEN NICHT ANGEZEIGT; ICH HABE IHNEN MEINE BEMERKUNGEN DESWEGEN AUCH NOCH EINMAL PER MAIL GESCHICKT!

    (1) The periods we are familiar with from European history (like antiquity, medieval time, early modern history, contemporary history etc.) are well established.
    Kann man hier (wie von mir eingefügt) vielleicht doch anmerken, dass dies zunächst ausschließlich in Europa und für die europäische Geschichte etablierte Konzepte sind? (und wie verhält sich die doch radikal andere Schilderung, so scheint es mir, bei Ferguson, dazu?! Hier wäre eine Cross-Reference sehr wichtig!). Wenn man global denken würde, müsste man hier ja auch ganz andere Periodisierungsmodelle (etwa bei Banerjee oder Moshfegh beschrieben) in Betracht ziehen.
    (2) since it is time that is at stake whatever may be said about the periodization and history in general.
    Das Ganze wird ja noch mal einem Native Speaker übergeben, aber ich mache hier und unten schon mal den ein oder anderen Änderungsvorschlag mit der Bitte um Übernahme!
    (7) It is a logical presupposition of each historical cognition, including periodization, of course.
    (9) Usually history is presented in single parts of change as a series of transformations, which happened in the past (like the history of the 19th century, the history of the French Revolution,
    etc.).
    IN DIESER SEKTION WIRD EINE a linear teleology in history writing beschrieben, sollte das nicht erwähnt werden?
    (11) This idea of time appears in very different forms: as a divine being, or as metaphorical image, or a philosophy of history.
    (11) Is this translation of Benjamin in Ft. [9] Walter Benjamin, “On the Concept of History,” § 9, accessed January 9, 2018, https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/benjamin/1940/history.htm.
    really the best available translation? (English is very unidiomatic)
    (12)
    We find a lot of examples I in early modern (Western) history, like the following one (Fig. II)
    (16)
    Finally, a cartoon from 1992, showing that the traditional symbol of ‘father time’ is still is in use.
    (17)
    There are four different types of providing temporal change a with historical meaning.
    (18) DIESER SATZ ERSCHEINT GENAU GLEICH BEI (27) Bitte bei (18) oder unten bei (27) STREICHEN
    These four types together cover the entire spectrum of historical representation of the past.
    Das halte ich für eine sehr mutige Aussage, sind Sie wirklich sicher, dass nicht irgendein Weltteil doch eher anders dann die Vergangenheit darstellen könnte oder dass nicht doch noch jemand auf einen 5.ten oder 6ten Typus kommen könnte?

    Vielleicht könnte man die Aussage ein wenig zurücknehmen, etwa so:
    These four types together cover a broad if not the entire spectrum of historical representation of the past.

    Ähnliches gilt auch für (20): There are four possible ways to actualize the human past in the structural meaning of narrative for the sake of cultural orientation.
    Ich würde nicht ausschließen, dass es einen fünften oder sechsten Weg gibt….
    (zumal das am Ende ja auch von Ihnen nicht mehr ausgeschlossen wird, wenn gesagt wird am Ende von (29) It is an open question whether the change in the media of cultural communication from scripture to the new electronic media we are witnessing and pursuing today will bring about a new type with a new logic of historical thinking. Let us see.)
    (19)
    The practical applicability of this typology lies in helping us to recognize and discern specific structures of meaning and their guiding principles for historiographic forms, and even for historical thinking in general.
    Die unterschiedlichen Typen sind sehr eindrucksvoll beschrieben. Es wäre aber dennoch für den Leser nützlich, wenn jeweils für jeden Typen ein repräsentatives Beispiel gegeben würde (vielleicht eines, das auch in unserem Buch vorkommt) für den jeweiligen Typ. Wäre es zum Beispiel richtig zu sagen, dass “exemplary” den im Buch angesprochenen Chronotypen (Moderne, Renaissance, etc) entsprechen könnte, etc?

    (27) hier oder oben GANZ STREICHEN, Wiederholung des gleichen Satzes von oben (18)
    The relevant notion of the course of time here is one of development, in which the change occurring in human lives is understood as a dynamic process by which they gain continuity. Genetic historical narratives are based on the idea that differences in time that orientate human action towards future situations have not been predefined by the past.
    (28) As logical components of the formation of historical meaning they are effective and verifiable in the concrete forms of historical culture. However, they seldom or never appear clearly or distinctly in concrete phenomena.
    Warum ist das so? Kann ich nicht die Renaissance als konkretes Phänomen, das dem Typos “exemplary” entspricht nennen, oder die Französische Revolution für den Typos (traditional)? Warum genau werden die Typen jetzt zeitlich verortet sind? Kommen sie nicht doch eher überzeitlich vor, vor allem, wenn man sie in einen breiten regionalen/globalen Rahmen stellt?
    (30) Chronology must be enriched by fundamental principles of the meaning of time, otherwise the interrelationship between the manifold, multifaceted and different representations of the past will become (or even remain) arbitrary, if not chaotic.
    Ist hier “chronology” also einfach Zeitzählung gemeint oder “periodisation” also die Einteilung von gezählten Zeiten in bestimmte logische Abschnitte? Kann man dann ggf. im Rahmen auch des Vokabulars des Bandes hier Chronologics sagen?
    (31) refers to a Christian measurement
    Bin nicht sicher, wofür measurement steht im Deutschen? Logik?
    his post-ism indicates a loss of confidence in the course of history. Indeed mainly for the Western intelligentsia the future is not a space for hope, but, on the contrary, it is expected as a time of a possible catastrophe. Finding no place for one’s own presence in the course of time will have consequences for historical thinking. The past is losing its meaning; meaning appears only as a construction, which is no longer rooted in evidence but only estimated as an invention of the historians.
    Dieser Absatz ist sehr spannend, könnte man ihn ein wenig mit konkretem Futter (Fußnoten, die auf entsprechende Arbeiten, auch in unserem Buch verweisen) versehen?
    (32)
    A further challenge of for historical thinking is the postcolonial criticism of the traditional treatment of non-Western cultures.
    our knowledge of anthropological universals, existential dimensions of human life and the evolution of human culture across its various manifestations.
    Auch hier wäre es sicher günstig, die ein oder andere Fussnote einzufügen, weil diese Ideen ja nun eben kontrovers diskutiert werden.

    @PUBLISHER: NEEDS ENGLISH EDITING

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