In perhaps 25 years of creative productivity (ca. 1180-ca. 1205), Hartmann von Aue authored a dispute about love between the body and the heart, Die Klage, numerous songs of courtly love, crusading songs, and most likely took part in a Crusade himself. He composed the first German Arthurian romance, Erec, based on Chrétien's like-named work, and he -- apparently -- ended his literarycareer with a second, Iwein. Further, he is the creator of two provocative rel-igious-didactic works, Gregorius, a tale of double incest, repentance, and redemption, and Der arme Heinrich, the account of a seemingly perfect nobleman who is stricken with leprosy and then ultimately cured by a process set into motion by a very young peasant girl, whom he ultimately marries. Noother medieval German poet treats such an extraordinary breadth of themes at such a high level of artistic expression. The essays in this volume, written by scholars from North America and Europe, offer insight into many aspects of Hartmann's oeuvre, including the medieval and modern visual and literary reception of his works. The volume also offers considerations of Hartmann and Chrétien;Hartmann's putative theological background and the influence of the Bible on his tales; the reflection of his medical knowledge in Der arme Heinrich and Iwein; and a complete survey of his lyric production. Newer avenues of research are also presented, with essays on issues of gender and on the role of pain as a constitutive part of the courtly experience. It is hoped that this volume will prove to be a stimulating companion not only for those familiar with Hartmann but also for those who are just making the acquaintance of one of the greatest of medieval German poets.
Francis G. Gentry is Professor Emeritus of German at the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.