Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Die Wahrheit der Fiktion. Studien Zur Weltlichen Und Geistlichen Literatur Des Mittelalters Und der Fruhen Neuzeit

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Die Wahrheit der Fiktion. Studien Zur Weltlichen Und Geistlichen Literatur Des Mittelalters Und der Fruhen Neuzeit

Article excerpt

Walter Haug, Die Wahrheit der Fiktion. Studien zur weltlichen und geistlichen Literatur des Mittelallers und der fruhen Neuheit (Tubingen: Niemeyer, 2003). xi + 708 pp. ISBN 3-484-10853-3. euro176.00.

Following hard upon two earlier volumes of 'Kleine Schriften' (Strukturen als Schlussel zur Welt m 1989, Brechungen auf dem Weg zur Individualitat in 1997) Walter Haug now presents a further volume, embracing forty essays written over the seven years since the last collection. (With such productivity Haug's presence must do wonders for any department's research assessment exercise!) The short time span within which these essays were written makes for a concentrated thematic focus, if also for an undeniable degree of repetitiveness.

The essays are not arranged chronologically, but thematically in eight sections. The first gives a general survey of the leading themes. Section 11 then opens out into Haug's major concern, literary fiction as a possible approach to truth, as reflected in the choice of title for this volume. It is also admirably reflected in the episode quoted at the start of the preface (a rabbi, asked by his pupil whether an apparition granted to a prophet actually happened and was true, replied that in all probability it did not happen, but was true). With section in the theme of fiction is combined with that of love in that, so Haug argues, both were 'discovered' in the twelfth century, not fortuitously, but with a causal connection. To what is undoubtedly the key essay in section 11 ('Die Entdeckung der Fiktionalitat') there corresponds in section in one on 'Das Experiment mit der personalen Liebe im 12./13. Jahrhundert'.

Sections IV and V treat, more briefly and marginally, of the post-classicnl romance and the heroic epic as further developments of the author's central theme, while section VI is devoted to short narratives, with or without a comic theme. Section VII is the longest one of the book, containing eleven essays on exegesis and religious, especially mystical, experience and justifying the inclusion of 'geistlich' alongside 'weltlich' in the subtitle. …

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