Im Kreuz der Wirklichkeit. Eine nach-Goethesche Soziologie

by Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy. In 3 volumes, hardbound, about 1050 pages. Talheimer Verlag, Mossingen-Talheim, Germany. Planned release 1997.


Soziologie is one of Rosenstock-Huessy’s fundamental works, written around the spaces and times which govern human life, language and associations. To Rosenstock-Huessy, speech is central to sociology; sociology must recognize that speech is the concrete form of social reality.

In Volume 1, Rosenstock-Huessy presents the areas of existence in which people play or confront serious life, such as marriage or service in war. He says that important human experiences like these are created by human powers like enthusiasm, love, or faith. He then contrasts these life-changing, deeply rooted experiences in time and space with the abstract concepts, space and time.  He sees these human powers as the concrete forces which create timespans, and so create and structure history. In Volume 2 he turns to history, which he sees as one part of each person’s soul, and so a major influence on people’s actions. He presents recurring historical events and times both as people’s personal experiences and as constituent parts of a larger whole. In Volume 3 he turns to questions of people living together, and discusses the way they create communities and social structures.

These volumes, entitled The Hegemony of Spaces (Die Übermacht der Räume) and The Full Count of Times (Die Vollzahl der Zeiten, 1 and 2), have made a lasting impression on readers. The first volume recently appeared in English, as The Cross of Reality: The Hegemony of Spaces, and the second volume is in preparation. Some of the material may also be found in the lecture series Cross of Reality (1953), in the Circulation of Thought group, and in the Universal History group.