Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Rittertum Zwischen Minne Und Gral; Untersuchungen Zum Mittelhocheutschen 'Prosa-Lancelot'

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Rittertum Zwischen Minne Und Gral; Untersuchungen Zum Mittelhocheutschen 'Prosa-Lancelot'

Article excerpt

Michele Remakel, Rittertum vischen Minne und Gral; Untersuchungen gum mittelhochdeutschen `Pro.ra-Lancelot', Mikrokosmos 42 (Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, New York, Paris, and Vienna: Lang, '995). z39 pp. ISBN 363 148z-54-X. No price given.

In Rittertum Zwischen Minne und Gral Michele Remakel offers a careful and balanced interpretation of the entire Prose Lancelot (comprising the Lancelot proper, the Gral-Queste, and the Tod des Konig Arius). She does not engage with the issue of the authorship of this extensive work, but rather, in accordance with Jean Frappier's `architect theory' (1936), treats the trilogy as the result of a detailed and coherent master plan. Remakel identifies the biography of Lancelot as the unifying factor of the three constituent romances. She focuses on the two central themes of Lancelot's unconditional, but ill-fated, love for Ginevra and the quest for the Grail. The clear and succinct exposition of the text in the course of the analysis will enable the reader who is unfamiliar with the Prose Lancelot to orientate himself in this voluminous work. As she traces the development of the two central themes Remakel highlights convincingly her thesis that there is not only a structural but also a conceptual unity underlying the trilogy of romances.

The close textual analysis is thrown into relief by the siting of the work in its literary historical context. Thus, Remakel demonstrates how the nature of Lancelot's love for Ginevra, while it has its origins in the fin amors and amour courtois conventions as well as in the adulterous love of Tristan and Isolde, develops into something quite individual. Similarly, in giving an excellent potted account of the origins and development of the Grail romances in twelfth- and thirteenth-century France and Germany, she clarifies the particular nature of the Grail story as it is realized in the Prose Lancelot. …

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