could find none better, and then to take the reader into his confidence and ask him to look carefully at what he found in the Tristan and thus appreciate in what ways the poem differed from the work of contemporaries. The poem is, after all, written for edele herzen who live in courts but are not of them. Tristan and Isolde too live in courts but are not of them. As he had indicated in his prologue, Gottfried writes in the genre of the romance but his work is not of it. The literary excursus is an organic part of the poem, for it shares with the preface the task of indicating to the audience how the whole work must be read.