Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Heinrich Wittenwiler: Der Ring. Text - Ubersetzung - Kommentar. Nach der Münchener Handschrift

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Heinrich Wittenwiler: Der Ring. Text - Ubersetzung - Kommentar. Nach der Münchener Handschrift

Article excerpt

Wittenwiler: Der Ring. Text- Übersetzung- Kommentar. Nach der Münchener Handschrift, ed., trans., and with a commentary by Werner Röcke, with assistance from Annika Goldenbaum, together with a reprint of the text as edited by Edmund Wießner (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2012). xvii + 516 pp. ISBN 978-3-1 1-025 383-2. euro29.95 (p/b). Wittenwiler's Der Ring from the first decade of the fifteenth century, Germany's outstanding contribution to the European literature of the later Middle Ages, is a singular text - singular by virtue of its integration of comedy, burlesque, and obscenity into a full-length epic poem of some 9,5 99 lines of couplet verse; in its combination of didacticism and narrative; in its elevation of Swiss peasants to the position of central protagonists; in its abandonment of the traditional courdy language usually employed for the more ambitious literary forms; and in its transmission in a single manuscript, which cannot be very far removed from the author's original. Horst Brunner's Reclam edition, together with a parallel translation, first published in 1991, resurrected a text that had not been much studied, most likely because of the barrier of its linguistic complexity, and paved the way for a host of interesting and innovative studies which do not seem to have led to any consensus of opinion regarding the interpretation (or so Röcke's introduction claims). In 1991 the manuscript, which had remained more or less completely inaccessible during the time of the GDR, had only very recently been made available to scholarship. …

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