Academic journal article German Quarterly

Titurel

Academic journal article German Quarterly

Titurel

Article excerpt

13th Century Literature and Culture Wolfram von Eschenbach. Titurel. Ed. Helmut Brackert and Stephan Fuchs Jolie. Berlin and New York: Walterde Gruyter, 2003.300 pp. $24.95 paperback.

When Parzival meets Sigune for the first time in Wolfram vonEschenbach's Parzival, she bemoans the death of her beloved Schionatulander, holding his dead body in her lap. The story of Sigune and Schionatulander has already come to an end. His premature death has been caused by his hunt for the ominous brackenseil desired by Sigune. Parzival meets his cousin Sigune three more times. After his first failed visit to the grail castle, Parzival finds her sitting with the dead Schionatulander in a linden tree, later in her eremitage crying over the casket of Schionatulander, and in their final encounter, Sigune herself is lying dead next to the casket and Parzival has her buried next to Schionatulander. Wolfram tells us the story of this extraordinary love story and the cir cumstances preceding Schionatulander's death in his Titurel. all 175 Titurel strophes are modified and integrated in the later Jüngerer Titurel with almost 6300 strophes from the late 13th century by Albrecht.

Two fragments relate the story as told in the Titurel in three existing manuscripts. G from the middle of the 13th century is the only one with both fragments with a total of 164 strophes. H (the Ambraser heldenbuch) from the beginning of the 16th century con tains the initial 68 strophes of the first fragment. M dates from around 1300, is poorly preserved and contains 46 strophes from the first fragments, mostly in bits and pieces. G, H and M share only 11 strophes, and 83 of all 175 strophes may be found in a single manuscript only. With such a manuscript tradition the editors consider it "hopeless" to strive for a text close to the author's or a "critical" text. Given the limited number of manuscripts, it might have been worthwhile to consider a diplomatic edition.

While the editors stress the equal value of the three manuscripts, they opted for a more user -friendly and readable presentation with G as the guiding manuscript. The new large critical edition from 2002 marks a milestone in research on the Titurel. In 1972, Joachim Heinzle's Stellenkommentar zu Wolframs 'Titurel'. Beiträge zum Verständnis des überlieferten Textes had been published, but Lachmann's edition from 1833 still remained the authoritative edition used together with Heinzle's commentary. …

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