Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Hybride Helden: Wigalois Und Willehalm. Beitrage Zum Heldenbild Und Zur Poetik Des Romans Im Fruhen 13. Jahrhundert

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Hybride Helden: Wigalois Und Willehalm. Beitrage Zum Heldenbild Und Zur Poetik Des Romans Im Fruhen 13. Jahrhundert

Article excerpt

Stephan Fuchs, Hybride Helden: Wigalois and Willehalm. Beitrage zum Heldenbild und zur Poetik des Romans im fruhen 13. Jahrhumdert, Frankfurter Beitrage zur Germanistik 31 (Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1997). 425 pp. ISBN 3-8253-0482. DM 88.00.

Stephan Fuchs's Hybride Helden, based on a doctoral dissertation submitted to the University of Frankfurt am Main in 1995, is an analysis of the hero role in galois and Willehalm (taken as relatively late representatives of the romance and chanson de geste genres respectively). The methodology used is twofold, involving a long theoretical section followed by textual analyses of each work separately. Strangely, in view of a heavily theoretical opening section (p. i i99), the author seems diffident about the relevance of this part to the textual-- analytical chapters. He prefaces his work with some words of Bakhtin (`Im Hinblick auf den Roman erweist sick die Literaturtheorie als vollig hilflos' and regrets that his theoretical trawl did not provide him with a `sinnvolle Leitung fdr die Textanalyse (nach der Sichtung der theoretischen Entwurfe)' (p. 98).

Fuchs's discussion of Wigalois, although he rejects the term 'epigonal' as being a form of 'Verlegenheitsterminologie', is often reminiscent of an older critical school. He sees Wirnt's romance as a somewhat anarchic development of Chretien's 'classical' model in which a profusion of `ethical layers' (mirrored in the 'hybrid' hero who is at various stages chevalier errant, servant d'amour, warrior saint, and practical administrator) remain insufficiently problematized. However, he concludes, Wirnt's use of 'paradigmatische Kombinatorik' and a profusion of narrative montage yields `einen faszinierenden, weil offenen and zur Deutung herausfordenden Roman' (p. …

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