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Vintage Books, Mar 12, 1961 - Fiction - 443 pages
2 Reviews
Parzival, an Arthurian romance completed by Wolfram von Eschenbach in the first years of the thirteenth century, is one of the foremost works of German literature and a classic that can stand with the great masterpieces of the world. The most important aspects of human existence, worldly and spiritual, are presented in strikingly modern terms against the panorama of battles and tournaments and Parzival's long search for the Grail. The world of knighthood, of love and loyalty and human endeavor despite the cruelty and suffering of life, is constantly mingling with the world of the Grail, affirming the inherent unity between man's temporal condition and his quest for something beyond human existence.

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Review: Parzival: A Romance of the Middle Ages

User Review  - Alyssa - Goodreads

One of the most famous Medieval romances. A great story about the search for identity. Wolfram is actually a very forward-thinking writer whose idea of the idealized knight is in stark contrast to the typical Arthurian knight. Read full review

Review: Parzival: A Romance of the Middle Ages

User Review  - Jennifer - Goodreads

if you only read one thing in Medieval lit, it better be the Divine Comedy. But if, after that, you decide you want more Medieval lit, this should be next on your list! Seriously fantastic. Read full review


Introduction Vll BOOK I

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About the author (1961)

I am Wolfram von Eschenbach and I know a little about singing"; thus does perhaps the most unique personality in medieval German literature introduce himself to readers. The second part of the statement is one of the greatest understatements in the realm of literature. He is the author of two unfinished works, Willehalm and Titurel (both c.1215), and of a few surviving lyrics---all of which show great innovativeness and skill. He is best known to general audiences as the author of Parzival, a Grail romance of more than 24,000 lines. His main source is the incomplete Perceval, or the Grail of Chretien de Troyes. Whether Wolfram had another source that supplied him with the end of the tale or whether he provided it himself is not definitely known. Wolfram teases his audience on several occasions by a reference to a mysterious Kyot who supposedly transmitted the tale and who was Wolfram's chief source. Modern scholars have given up the search for Kyot, and most now assume that the completion of the Parzival story is by Wolfram himself. The basic theme of Parzival is like that of the other German courtly romances, examining how a person can so arrange his life that he is pleasing to both God and man. As in other tales, the answer lies in compassion. Wolfram's Parzival also provided the material used in Wagner's libretto for Parsifal. Wolfram Von Eschenbach was a poet. He was born around 1170. Von Eschenbach led a life as a Bavarian knight, serving lords in Abensburg, Wildenburg, and Wertheim. By 1203 he was in the court of Landgrave Hermann von Thuringen. Von Eschenbach's surviving writings include eight lyric poems. The most important of these is Parzival, a poem of 25,000 lines in 16 books that introduced the theme of chivalry and the search for the Holy Grail into German literature. The work had an influence on later poets and it was the basis for Richard Wagner's final opera, Parsifal. Von Eschenbach died around 1220.

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