About this issue
The second issue of zeitenblicke, presented here, goes back to a conference about "Autobiography - Self-Testimony - Egodocument" that was jointly organised at the Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Bonn on December 1, 2001 by the Arbeitskreis Frühe Neuzeit am Germanistischen Seminar der Universität Bonn and the Nordrhein-Westfälischer Arbeitskreis Frühe Neuzeit. The purpose of this conference was specifically to bring together young scholars from the historical sciences and literary criticism for an interdisciplinary dialogue. The current example of egodocument research was chosen to examine what potential for discussion a commonly worked on field could offer, which goals of insight and forms of access the two fields respectively pursue and which theories and methods they are currently using in this process. All in all: What have historians and literary critics to say to each other and what can they possibly learn from their respective counterparts. The direct comparison and the lively discussion of the contributions definitely showed common ground, but significant differences in interests and results also became clear.
The majority of the contributions to the conference are now included in this publication. They form, so to speak, its "historical core". As at the conference there are two introductions to the topic, the second deliberately taking a contrary position to the topic in general from a literary critic's perspective. A "virtual conversation" with the doyen of historical egodocument research, Rudolf Dekker, is a new addition. We very much appreciated his readiness to share information with us via a series of e-mails. After this general introduction, case studies follow, also including a twofold (historical as well as literary) analysis of a single source, Hans Heberle's "Zeytregister". It has to be noted that some of the contributions have not stopped where they were at the conference, the authors rather exercised their right to integrate the criticism and perspectives of the other field, or worked out their own position more clearly. The contributions in the following sections "source presentation", "edition" and "project reports" were written specifically for this issue of zeitenblicke. We readily integrated these sections on the proposal of the editors of this journal and believe that we have, thereby, broadened the scope of this publication.
We wish to thank the editors of this journal, namely Mrs. Prof. Dr. Gudrun Gersmann: Firstly, they have entrusted us with the second issue in the first volume. We have been very conscious of our responsibility in shaping a new journal, in what is still a new medium, at its very beginning. Secondly, we have to thank the editors and their co-workers for their support of the editorial work and for taking over the work intensive technical preparation for the Internet.
We wish the readers of this issue an interesting read and many "clicks" on links throughout this publication. To ensure unimpeded quotability, all issues of zeitenblicke including this one are unchangeable after publication. The editors would still be very happy to receive (negative as well as positive!) responses and possible corrections to one of the following editors' addresses.
Bonn/Berlin, December 2002
Translation: Giles Bennett