Wolfram's Willehalm

January 2002
6 black and white illustrations
366 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571132116
Format: Hardback
Camden House
BISAC LIT004170, LIT011000

Wolfram's Willehalm

Fifteen Essays

Edited by Martin H. Jones, Timothy McFarland

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New essays on Wolfram von Eschenbach's 'other' work, the neglected epic Willehalm.
Wolfram von Eschenbach's Willehalm (c. 1210-20) is one of the great epic creations of the Middle Ages. Its account of conflict between Christian and Muslim cultures, centering on the warrior-saint Willehalm and his wife Gyburc, a convert from Islam, challenges the ideology of the Crusades. It celebrates the heroism, faith, and family solidarity of the Christians, but also displays the suffering of both sides in the war and questions the justification of all killing. Gyburc, whose abandonment of her Muslim family and conversion to Christianity are the immediate cause of the war, bears a double burden of sorrow, and it is from her that springs a vision of humanity transcending religious differences that is truly remarkable for its time. In Gyburc's heathen brother Rennewart and his love for the French king's daughter, Wolfram also develops a richly comic strand in the narrative, with the outcome left tantalizingly open by the work's probably unfinished conclusion. Long overshadowed by his earlier Parzival, Wolfram's Willehalm is increasingly receiving the recognition it deserves. The fifteen essays in this volume present new interpretations of a wide range of aspects of Willehalm. They place the work in its historical and literary context, promote understanding of its leading figures and themes, and highlight Wolfram's supreme qualities as a story-teller.

Martin H. Jones is Senior Lecturer in German at King's College, London. Timothy McFarland is retired as Senior Lecturer in German at University College London.

Table of Contents

Heroism and Sanctity in the Cycle de Guillaume - Philip E. Bennett
"dicke Karel wart genant" — Konrad's Rolandslied and the Transmission of Authority and Legitimacy in Wolfram's WillehalmWolfram's Willehalm - Jeffrey Ashcroft
Parzival and Willehalm: Narrative Continuity? - Annette Volfing
"ir sît durh triuwe in dirre nôt" — the Role of triuwe in Wolfram's Willehalm - John Greenfield
Willehalm at Laon - Mark Chinca
Giburc at Orange: The Siege as Military Event and Literary Theme - Martin H. Jones
Giburc's Dilemma: Parents and Children, Baptism and Salvation - Timothy McFarland
Religious Disputation Literature and the Theology of Willehalm. An Aspect of Wolfram's Education - David A. Wells
Rennewart's "Shame" — an Aspect of the Characterizations of Wolfram's Ambivalent Hero - David N. Yeandle
Wolfram's Use of Imagery as an Aspect of his Narrative Art in Willehalm - Marion E. Gibbs
Animal, Vegetable, Mineral. Some Observations on the Presentation and Function of Natural Phenomena in Wolfram's Willehalm and in the Old French Aliscansand in the Old French Aliscans - Nigel Harris
Structures of Dialogue in Willehalm - Almut Suerbaum
The Construction of Gender in Willehalm - Christopher Young
Heteroglossia in Willehalm: A Bakhtinian Approach - Sidney M. Johnson
Willehalm as History in Heinrich von München's Weltchronik - Frank Shaw


This stimulating collection, which goes back to a London conference in 1998, not only reacts to the intensive 'Willehalm' research of recent years, it points the way to new scholarly initiatives. MONATSHEFTE

[The essays are of] generally high, and often superb quality. GERMAN QUARTERLY

The essays within this volume provide an excellent opportunity to gain insight into Wolfram's exciting late work. They will undoubtedly inform future research and inspire further debate. JOURNAL OF ENGLISH AND GERMANIC PHILOLOGY

The essays represent a good and reliable introduction to Willehalmnot only for the English-speaking reader, but also, beyond that, are highly recommended for their perceptive analysis of recent research. ARBITRIUM

...the volume succeeds in uncovering the relevance of Willehalm through analysis of its aesthetic, literary-historical, intertextual, and sociological aspects . MEDIAEVISTIK

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