Julia Mierbach, Eva Stubenrauch (ed./eds.)

Gegenwartskonzepte 1750–1800. Eine kulturwissenschaftliche Revision
Beiheft zur Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie
[Conceptualizations of the Present 1750–1800. A Cultural Studies Revision. Supplement to the Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie]

Erich Schmidt Verlag, Berlin 2023, 200 pages
ISBN 978-3-503-21263-7

The idea of a temporalization of the historical categories “past,” “present,” and “future” during the “Sattelzeit” has dominated contemporary (literary) research during the second half of the 20th century aand continues to do so until today. In this research, the 18th century is usually understood as dividing an “old” spatial from a “new” temporal concept of the present.

What has been overlooked here is the fact that the supposedly more naïve, premodern concept of the present was not exclusively meant to be spatial. It instead implied much more complex semantics, starting from aesthetics and expanding as far as into metaphysics. Furthermore, little scholarly attention has been devoted to different forms of relations between space and time as well as the knowledge contexts and techniques of representation that model the modern present within and beyond the categories of space and time.

In this light, the volume fundamentally re-measures the field of concepts of the present during the 18th century, reconstructing guiding paradigms and histories of transformation that are in effect until today.