Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Liebe Als Universales Prinzip Bei Frauenlob: Ein Volkssprachlicher Weltentwurf in der Europaischen Dichtung Um 1300

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Liebe Als Universales Prinzip Bei Frauenlob: Ein Volkssprachlicher Weltentwurf in der Europaischen Dichtung Um 1300

Article excerpt

Ralf-Henning Steinmetz, Liebe als universales Prinzip bei Frauenlob: Ein volk.rsprachbicher Weltentwurf in der europaischen Dichtung um 1300, Munchener Texte und Untersuchungen io6 (Tubingen: Niemeyer, 1994). x + 182 pp. ISBN 3-484-89106-8. DM 6z.

This impressive and engaging study presents the thesis that it should be possible to interpret Frauenlob's oeuvre as a consistent conceptual system and that this approach will enable the critic to delineate an idiosyncratic and sophisticated conception of Minne that is fundamental to Frauenlob's thinking. Ralf-Henning Steinmetz bases his argument around the detailed analysis of two major texts, Minne und Werlt and the Minneleich, but also seeks support for his thesis in the Marienleich and in the shorter poems.

In the analysis of Minne und Werlt, Steinmetz bases himself on Huber's discussion of the text in the context of the reception of Alain de Lille; however, he modifies Huber's account in various important ways, notably by playing down the possible significance of Alain de Lille and arguing that Frauenlob's intellectual framework comes closer to that of William of Conches and Abelard. Above all, the notion of anima mundi (and its possible identification with the Holy Spirit) is shown to be relevant for the conception of Minne. Furthermore, whereas Huber and others have tended to regard the figure Werlt as 'the' equivalent to the Natura of the School of Chartres, and to approach Minne more as an ethical principle, Steinmetz shows that the characteristic 'reproductive' functions of Natura are divided fairly evenly between both contestants in the dialogue, Minne being just as responsible as Werlt for the survival of the species through the generation of like from like. Finally, Steinmetz argues that Minne is to be understood as being analogous in status and function to the motores celi or substantiae separatae of Aristotelian cosmology. The outcome of all this is to present Minne as an eternal, immaterial force holding together both the Trinity and the created cosmos, and imparting the necessary impetus for every kind of motion and change, including the sexual desire necessary for reproduction. …

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