• Claudia Portioli
Editorial This double volume marks a transition between the previous edition (initially Simmel Newsletter from 1991 to 1999, then Simmel Studies from 2000 to 2009) and the new Simmel Studies series. In his retrospective, Otthein Rammstedt (founder of the journal and editor of the German complete critical edition of Simmel’s work) sheds light on the origin, development and future potentialities of Simmel Studies and illustrates the principal activities and scopes of the journal, its connection with the Georg Simmel Gesamtausaugabe and the key role played by Simmel Studies in the research on the thought of Georg Simmel. One of the scopes of this double volume is to offer an overview of the essays and contributions on Simmel published in the first 19 years of life of the journal. In particular, in the first part of the present number, the reader will find the complete tables of contents of all the previous numbers of the Simmel Newsletter and Simmel Studies. This work represents an ideal completion of Rammstedt’s contribution as it shows, at an international level, how the research “materialised” and “crystallized” itself in the journal. This aspect reminds us of Simmel’s key notion of “crystallisation” and of his secular elaboration of the concept of “objective spirit” beyond its idealistic meaning in Hegel. In addition to the tables of contents of the past numbers of the journal, we provide scholars with further materials and research tools such as the complete Italian bibliography, a compendium of primary and secondary literature on Georg Simmel in Italian edited by Claudia Portioli. In order to keep up with the status of the research in different countries, we hope to publish similar bibliographical overviews for other languages in the next numbers of the journal. In the section “Literatur”, Léa Barbisan reviews Marian Mičko’s book Walter Benjamin und Georg Simmel (2010), which highlights the similarities between the two authors based on their analysis of the phenomena of modernity and on the approaches they develop. The relevance of Barbisan’s review lies in the fact that it does not only present the principal arguments and contents of Mičko’s book, but also points out how, despite the affinities between Benjamin and Simmel, their thoughts deeply differ in terms of their implications for the evaluation of those phenomena, not least from a political perspective. In the second part of this double volume, the reader will find the section “Simmel Abstracts” edited by Cécile Rol (for 2011 and 2012) and by Claudia Portioli (for 2011). Along with “Simmel Abstracts”, single reports of conferences on Simmel’s work, such as the Symposium held in November 2011 in Medellín (Colombia), give an overview of the areas and centres of research on Simmel’s thought. The essays published in this double volume seem to delineate four different directions in the interpretation of Simmel’s work. The first direction consists in the in-depth analysis of specific topics developed by Simmel, which can further our understanding of classical aspects of his sociological thought. As a case in point, Lassere’s article focuses on the possibilities left to the individual, according to Simmel, to adapt to the changes of modern society without succumbing to the effects of a pervasive monetary economy. The second direction re-examines key concepts of Simmel’s work from new perspectives which lead to a re-interpretation of the relationship between his philosophical and sociological thoughts. This is the case of the essay Die Geburt der Lebensphilosophie aus dem Geist der Konfliktsoziologie (a title evocative of Nietzsche’s early work Die Geburt der Tragödie aus dem Geiste der Musik), where ...