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13 - German Medieval Romance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2023

Roberta L. Krueger
Affiliation:
Hamilton College, New York
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Summary

The late twelfth century witnessed the emergence of the Middle High German courtly romance, first introduced by Hartmann von Aue, who translated primarily Erec and Iwein from his French sources by Chrétien de Troyes. Other poets soon followed suit, especially Wolfram von Eschenbach, Gottfried von Strassburg, and The Stricker. These romances competed with the traditional bridal-quest verse narratives, and also with contemporary heroic epics, but soon established themselves independently. The thirteenth century witnessed a considerable expansion of the genre, though many romances either turned into more sentimental narratives or imitated much of the ‘classical’ poets from around 1200. In the late Middle Ages, the verse romance was substituted by prose novels, often simply technical adaptations of the traditional courtly narratives (then also printed). However, in the fifteenth century some of those early novels were predicated on innovative themes and reflected the changes of time.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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References

Suggestions for Further Reading

Bumke, Joachim. Geschichte der deutschen Literatur im hohen Mittelalter. Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1990.Google Scholar
Classen, Albrecht. “Late Middle High German, Renaissance, and Reformation,” in A Concise History of German Literature to 1900, ed. Vivian, Kim. Columbia, SC: Camden House, 1992, pp. 5890.Google Scholar
Hasty, Will ed., A Companion to Gottfried von Strassburg’s Studies in German Literature, Linguistics, and Culture. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2003.Google Scholar
Hasty, Will A Companion to Wolfram’s Parzival. Studies in German Literature, Linguistics, and Culture. Columbia, SC: Camden House, 1999.Google Scholar
Johnson, L. Peter, Die höfische Literatur der Blütezeit (1160/70‒1220/30). Geschichte der deutschen Literatur von den Anfängen bis zum Beginn der Neuzeit, II: Vom hohen zum späten Mittelalter. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1999.Google Scholar
Tomasek, Tomas. Gottfried von Straßburg. Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam Jun., 2007.Google Scholar
Wehrli, Max. Geschichte der deutschen Literatur im Mittelalter: Von den Anfängen bis zum Ende des 16. Jahrhunderts. 3rd ed. Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam, 1997.Google Scholar

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