The Forest In Medieval German Literature: Ecocritical Readings From A Historical Perspective by Albrecht ClassenThe Forest In Medieval German Literature: Ecocritical Readings From A Historical Perspective by Albrecht Classen

The Forest In Medieval German Literature: Ecocritical Readings From A Historical Perspective

byAlbrecht Classen

Hardcover | June 3, 2015

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By pursuing an ecocritical reading, The Forest in Medieval German Literature examines passages in medieval German texts where protagonists operated in the forest and found themselves either in conflictual situations or in refuge. By probing the way the individual authors dealt with the forest, illustrating how their characters fared in this sylvan space, the role of the forest proved to be of supreme importance in understanding the fundamental relationship between humans and nature. The medieval forest almost always introduced an epistemological challenge: how to cope in life, or how to find one's way in this natural maze. By approaching these narratives through modern ecocritical issues that are paired with premodern perspectives, we gain a solid and far-reaching understanding of how medieval concepts can aid in a better understanding of human society and nature in its historical context. This book revisits some of the best and lesser known examples of medieval German literature, and the critical approach used here will allow us to recognize the importance of medieval literature for a profound reassessment of our modern existence with respect to our own forests.
Albrecht Classen is University Distinguished Professor of German studies at the University of Arizona.
Title:The Forest In Medieval German Literature: Ecocritical Readings From A Historical PerspectiveFormat:HardcoverDimensions:254 pages, 9.3 × 6.26 × 0.92 inPublished:June 3, 2015Publisher:Lexington BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0739195182

ISBN - 13:9780739195185


Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsIntroduction and Theoretical Reflections: The Forest as an Epistemological Challenge in the Middle AgesChapter One: Hartmann von Aue's Concept of the Forest: The Arthurian Adventure in the Forest and the ConsequencesChapter Two:The Forest as Staging Ground for the Heroic Protagonist:Glory and Demise in the NibelungenliedChapter Three:The Forest in Wolfram von Eschenbach's Works:The Passage from the Arthurian Court to the Grail Kingdom Through the ForestChapter Four:The Forest in Gottfried von Straßburg's Tristan and in Alternative Tristan VersionsChapter Five:The Forest in Der Melerantz von Frankreich by The PleierChapter Six:The Forest as the Transitional and Transformative Space in Konrad von Würzburg's Partonopier und MeliurChapter Seven:The Ambivalence of the Forest: Exile or Safe Haven? The Destiny of the Female Protagonist Refracted in the Forest:Elisabeth von Nassau-Saarbrücken's Königin SibilleChapter Eight:Forest in Thüring von Ringoltingen's Melusine:Dark Spaces, Mysterious Origins, Meaningful Connections: The Forest and the Establishment of DynastiesEpilogueBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

In this volume Classen treats an important group of key works from the Medieval and Early Modern period in German literature, from Hartmann von Aue to Thüring von Ringoltingen, through the lens of ecocriticism. Bringing to bear a vast storehouse of knowledge regarding not only primary texts and authors but also the enormous body of critical literature on Medieval and Early Modern writing, Classen sensitively and authoritatively reads these texts and reveals how each of them evinces great reverence for the forest environment, a space that for centuries provided human beings with the means of survival but which was also a source of great fear and wonder. The result of Classen's efforts is a remarkably accessible, provocative and interesting investigation, which will contribute to Medieval literary and cultural studies, both in terms of its theoretical framework and its cogent and coherent analyses of the specific works.