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A Companion to Wolfram's Parzival

Overview

Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival expands and transforms the Arthurian tradition into a grand depiction of the medieval cosmos around 1200. Standing between clerical and chivalric cultures and articulating the interests and values of both, Wolfram produced the most popular vernacular work in medieval Germany and one of the most vibrant of the High Middle Ages. The brilliance, boldness, and astonishing originality of Parzival, along with the allure of its elusive author and his enigmatic grail, have continued to ...
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Overview

Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival expands and transforms the Arthurian tradition into a grand depiction of the medieval cosmos around 1200. Standing between clerical and chivalric cultures and articulating the interests and values of both, Wolfram produced the most popular vernacular work in medieval Germany and one of the most vibrant of the High Middle Ages. The brilliance, boldness, and astonishing originality of Parzival, along with the allure of its elusive author and his enigmatic grail, have continued to fascinate modern audiences since the nineteenth century. And in the late 20th century, as the study of literature becomes increasingly interdisciplinary, Wolfram's masterpiece continues to hold forth a seemingly inexhaustible supply of cultural knowledge and insights. The original essays in this volume provide a definitive treatment in English of significant aspects of Parzival (Wolfram's modes of narrative presentation, his relationship to his sources, his portrayal of the grail), and of some of the broader social and cultural issues it raises (the theology of the Fall, the status of chivalric self-assertion, the characterization of women, the modern reception of Parzival). These and other essays point in new directions for the future study of Parzival, and demonstrate that the poem deservedly occupies a central position in our understanding of the High Middle Ages.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'The essays are well written and insightful, and the authors bring a sense of their own delight in a way that will be contagious among a broad readership.' COLLOQUIA GERMANICA 'A very usable introduction to various aspects of Wolfram's Parzifal.' JOURNAL OF ENGLISH AND GERMANIC PHILOLOGY
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
People, Places, and Things in Parzival 1
Gahmuret and Herzeloyde: Gone but not Forgotten 3
Ideals of Flesh and Blood: Women Characters in Parzival 12
The Significance of the Gawan Story in Parzival 37
Doing his own Thing: Wolfram's Grail 77
Wolfram's Art of Narration 97
Fiction, Plot and Discourse: Wolfram's Parzival and its Narrative Sources 99
Wolfram von Eschenbach: Modes of Narrative Presentation 124
Cultural Contexts 141
Parzival and the Theology of Fallen Man 143
Tournaments and Battles in Parzival 159
Reading, Writing, and Learning in Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival 189
Otherworlds, Alchemy, Pythagoras, and Jung: Symbols of Transformation in Parzival 203
At the Limits of Chivalry in Wolfram's Parzival: An Arthurian Perspective 223
The Modern Reception of Wolfram's Parzival 243
Wolfram, Wagner, and the Germans 245
Works Cited 259
Notes on Contributors 279
Index 281
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