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Mandatory Muslim Metamorphosis in Middle High German Epic

  • Jerold C. Frakes
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Abstract

At the most general level of abstraction, this chapter offers an interpretation of medieval Christian epic, but in a series of telescoping focal projections, the topic is made more specific: medieval Christian epic > the discourse of the Other in such texts > Muslims as that Other > the Muslim Other in medieval German epic > the Muslim Other in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s two early thirteenth-century epics, Parzival.and Willehalm. It approaches this telescoping range of issues and contexts through the controlling motif of metamorphosis.as a mandatory operation performed on Muslims who appear in such texts. Issues in the texts prompt tactically focused “digressions” that often veer momentarily away from the texts in order to lead via a richer contextualization back to them. As a mode of literary analysis, it is nonstandard in Germanistik;.but it is, I hope, appropriate and effective here.

Keywords

Skin Color Muslim Woman Black Skin Racial Resentment Early Thirteenth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 34.
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    Steven A. Epstein, Purity Lost: Transgressing Boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean, 1000–1400 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007), especially p. 183.Google Scholar
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    Marion E. Gibbs, Wîplîchez wîbes reht: A Study of the Women Characters in the Works of Wolfram von Eschenbach (N.P.: Duquesne University Press, 1972), p. 88.Google Scholar
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    On the “foreign-ness” of Belakâne, see David F. Tinsley, “The Face of the Foreigner in Medieval German Courtly Literature,” in Meeting the Foreign in the Middle Ages (New York: Routledge, 2002), pp. 45–70.Google Scholar
  7. 78.
    On the function of tears in medieval epic, see Lydia Miklautsch, “Waz touc helden sah geschrei? Tränen als Gesten der Trauer in Wolframs Willehalm,” Zeitschrift für Germanistik 10 (2000): 245–57.Google Scholar
  8. 87.
    Eva Parra Membrives, “Alternative Frauenfiguren in Wolframs Parzival: ZurBestimmungdes Höfischen anhand differenzierter Verhaltensmuster,” German Studies Review 25 (2002): 40, 44 [35–55].CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Henry Kratz, Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival: An Attempt at a Total Evaluation (Bern: Francke, 1973), pp. 541 and 572.Google Scholar
  10. 95.
    Hilda Swinburn, “Gahmuret and Feirefiz in Wolfram’s Parzival,” Modern Language Review 51 (1956): 196 [195–202].Google Scholar
  11. 112.
    The text is edited by Franz H. Bäuml, Kudrun: Die Handschrift (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1969), here st. 580–5.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jerold C. Frakes 2011

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  • Jerold C. Frakes

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