A Companion to Gottfried von Strassburg's Tristan

A Companion to Gottfried von Strassburg's Tristan

Edited by Will Hasty

New essays by outstanding European and American medievalists on major aspects of the most enduring medieval epic.
The legend of Tristan and Isolde -- the archetypal narrative about the turbulent effects of all-consuming, passionate love -- achieved its most complete and profound rendering in the German poet Gottfried von Strassburg's verse romance Tristan (ca. 1200-1210). Along with his great literary rival Wolfram von Eschenbach and his versatile predecessor Hartmann von Aue, Gottfried is considered one of three greatest poets produced by medieval Germany, and over the centuries his Tristan has lost none of its ability to attract with the beauty of its poetry and to challenge -- if not provoke -- with its sympathetic depiction of adulterous love. The essays, written by a dozen leading Gottfried specialists in Europe and North America, provide definitive treatments of significant aspects of this most important and challenging high medieval version of the Tristan legend. They examine aspects of Gottfried's unparalleled narrative artistry; the important connections between Gottfried's Tristan and the socio-cultural situation in which it was composed; and the reception of Gottfried's challenging romance both by later poets in the Middle Ages and by nineteenth- and twentieth-century authors, composers, and artists -- particularly Richard Wagner. The volume also contains new interpretations of significant figures, episodes, and elements (Riwalin and Blanscheflur, Isolde of the White Hands, the Love Potion, the performance of love, the female figures) in Gottfried's revolutionary romance, which provocatively elevates a sexual, human love to a summum bonum.

Will Hasty is Professor of German at the University of Florida. He is the editor of Companion to Wolfram's "Parzival," (Camden House, 1999).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Challenge of Gottfried's Tristan - Will Hasty
Humanism in the High Middle Ages: The Case of Gottfried's Tristan - Alois Wolf
Gottfried's Strasbourg: The City and Its People - Michael S. Batts
Gottfried's Adaptation of the Story of Riwalin and Blanscheflur - Danielle Buschinger
This drink will be the death of you: Interpreting the Love Potion in Gottfried's Tristan - Sidney M. Johnson
God, Religion, and Ambiguity in Tristan - Nigel Harris
The Female Figures in Gottfried's Tristan and Isolde - Ann Marie Rasmussen
The Performance of Love: Tristan and Isolde at Court - Will Hasty
Duplicity and Duplexity: The Isolde of the White Hands Sequence - Neil Thomas
Between Epic and Lyric Poetry: The Originality of Gottfried's Tristan - Daniel Rocher
History, Fable and Love: Gottfried, Thomas, and the Matter of Britain - Adrian Stevens
The Medieval Reception of Gottfried's Tristan - Marion E. Gibbs
The Modern Reception of Gottfried's Tristan and the Medieval Legend of Tristan and Isolde - Ulrich Mueller

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