Cercetător şt. I, dr., Institutul de Istorie „A. D. Xenopol”, Iaşi, al Academiei Române;
In Jörn Rüsen’s conception, having the consciousness of time is the same with being able to narrate incessantly, in agreement with the events that time brings about. Narration, according to the German theorist, is a discourse construct based on which the historical consciousness accomplishes its function of guiding daily life. This competence, of making sense of the past, as Rüsen calls it, is then divided into three other skills, easily definable in terms of the three features of narration: form, content, function. Thinking about content, we can speak about the competence the historical experience provides us with; when referring to form, we invoke history’s function of interpretation; and, finally, looking for the function, we actually fall upon its capability of historical orientation by means of comparisons, antitheses, analogies. Experience teaches us how to meet with the past again, how to comprehend its particularities, how to discern what separates a period from the other. Interpretation guarantees our ability to connect contradictions into a coherent synthesis, eliminating any asperity only to obtain a meaningful story, a story with a “long term” meaning. Orientation articulates individual or collective identity in accordance with the historical knowledge that time affects, exploits, perverts.
narration, historicization, social memory, historical consciousness, collective experience