The Challenge of the Medieval Text: Studies in Genre and Interpretation

By W. T. H. Jackson; Joan M. Ferrante et al. | Go to book overview

could find none better, and then to take the reader into his confidence and ask him to look carefully at what he found in the Tristan and thus appreciate in what ways the poem differed from the work of contemporaries. The poem is, after all, written for edele herzen who live in courts but are not of them. Tristan and Isolde too live in courts but are not of them. As he had indicated in his prologue, Gottfried writes in the genre of the romance but his work is not of it. The literary excursus is an organic part of the poem, for it shares with the preface the task of indicating to the audience how the whole work must be read.


NOTES
1.
There have been several articles recently on the literary excursus: Herbert Kolb , "'Der ware Elicon.' Zu Gottfrieds Tristan vv. 4862-4907," DVLG ( 1967), 41:1-26; Hans Fromm, "Tristans Schwertleite," DVLG ( 1967), 41:33-50; Ingrid Hahn , "Zu Gottfrieds von Strassburg Literaturschau," ZDA ( 1965), 96:218- 236; Louise Gnaedinger, "Musik und Minne im Tristan Gottfrieds von Strassburg," Wirkendes Wort, Beiheft, 19 ( 1967). None of these concerns itself specifically with the points raised in this essay.
2.
"Tristan the Artist in Gottfried's Poem," PMLA ( 1962), 77:364-72.
3.
I cite Ranke's text as revised in Gottfried von Strassburg, Tristan, Gottfried Weber et al., eds. (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1967). All translations are my own.
4.
Homer, Iliad xviii and xix, and Vergil, Aeneid viii. 370 ff. and 608 ff. Both in Homer and Vergil the shield offers an opportunity for the poet to comment on society and Homer's highly sophisticated use of it shows that it was already a well-known device. The need to connect the shield of Aeneas with the theme of the greatness of Rome makes Vergil's description appear much more forced. It is made clear in the Aeneid that the provision of arms by a god assures victory. Tristan, of course, reccives only the same type of arms as those given to his companions and is thus by implication differentiated from classical heroes. The spiritual values which actually distinguish him from them cannot be expressed, allegorically or otherwise, in terms of arms and clothing. Gottfried thus breaks with the very classical tradition that he has imported into the literary excursus.

-246-

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The Challenge of the Medieval Text: Studies in Genre and Interpretation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Publications xiii
  • One Courtly Love 1
  • I - The De Amore of Andreas Capellanus and the Practice of Love at Court 3
  • Notes 12
  • 2 - Faith Unfaithful--The German Reaction to Courtly Love 14
  • Notes 33
  • Two - Lyric 35
  • 3 - Contrast Imagery in the Poems of Friedrich Von Hausen 37
  • Note 48
  • 4 - Persona and Audience in Two Medieval Love-Lyrics 49
  • Note 65
  • 5 - The Medieval Pastourelle as a Satirical Genre 66
  • Notes 79
  • 6 - The Politics of a Poet: The Archipoeta as Revealed by His Imagery 81
  • Notes 101
  • Three - Epic and Drama 103
  • 7 - The Epic Center as Structural Determinant in Medieval Narrative Poetry 105
  • Note 124
  • 8 - Time and Space in the Ludus De Antichristo 125
  • Notes 142
  • Pyrgopolinices Converted: The Boasting Soldier in Medieval German Literature 144
  • Notes 153
  • Four - Allegory and Romance 155
  • 10 - Allegory and Allegorization 157
  • Note 171
  • II - The Nature of Romance 172
  • Notes 182
  • 12 - Problems of Communication in the Romances of Chrétien De Troyes 185
  • Note 196
  • 13 - The Arthuricity of Marie De France 197
  • Notes 217
  • 14 - The Progress of Parzival and the Trees of Virtue and Vice 218
  • Notes 225
  • 15 - The Literary Views of Gottfried Von Strassburg 226
  • Notes 246
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