Mandatory Muslim Metamorphosis in Middle High German Epic

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


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 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.


Skin Color Muslim Woman Black Skin Racial Resentment Early Thirteenth 
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© Jerold C. Frakes 2011

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  • Jerold C. Frakes

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