Medieval Listening and Reading: The Primary Reception of German Literature, 800-1300

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This book deals with the first 500 years of German literature (800-1300) and how it was received by contemporaries. Covering the whole spectrum of genres, from dance-songs to liturgy, heroic epics to drama, it explores which works were meant to be recited to listeners, which were destined for the individual reader, and which anticipated a twofold reception. It emphasizes this third possibility, seeing it as an example of the bicultural world of the Middle Ages, combining orality with writing, illiteracy with literacy, vernacular with Latin, lay with clerical.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is important for what it reveals about literature in German from 800 to 1300; it is of value, too, for the techniques of analysis that it employs. Even during my first reading, I was thinking how some of Green's methods could be modified to fit Old and Middle English literature. I am not the only reader who will be so animated." Modern Philology

"Long accustomed to providing seminal analyses on medieval German literature, Green has again enriched the discipline with the present masterful study." F. G. Gentry, Choice

"Green's book will be useful to scholars, college instructors, and graduate students not conversant in modern German who seek an informed discussion of questions and sources central to orality and literacy in the German Middle Ages." Speculum

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521444934
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Pages: 500
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I. Preliminary Problems: 1. Orality and writing; 2. The historical background; Part II. Three Modes of Reception: 3. Criteria for reception by hearing; 4. Survey of reception by hearing; 5. Criteria for reception by reading; 6. Survey of reception by reading; 7. Criteria for the intermediate mode of reception; 8. Survey of the intermediate mode of reception; Part III. Conclusions: 9. Literacy, history and fiction; 10. Recital and reading in their historical context; Notes; Bibliographic index.

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