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Parzival and Titurel

av Wolfram von Eschenbach

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1293168,785 (4)14
Vast in its scope, incomparably dense in its imagery, Parzival ranks alongside Dante's Divine Comedy as one of the foremost narrative works to emerge from medieval Europe.Written in the first decade of the thirteenth century, Parzival is the greatest of the medieval Grail romances. It tells of Parzival's growth from youthful folly to knighthood at the court of King Arthur, and of his quest for the Holy Grail. Full of incident and excitement, the story involves deedsof chivalry, tournaments and sieges, courtly love and other erotic adventures. Parzival's quest becomes a moral and spiritual journey of self-discovery, as he learns that he must repent of his past misdeeds if he is to succeed. Exuberant and Gothic in its telling, as well as profoundly moving,Parzival has inspired and influenced works as diverse as Wagner's Parsifal and Lohengrin, Terry Gilliam's film The Fisher King, and Umberto Eco's Baudolino.Cyril Edwards's fine translation also includes the fragments of Titurel, an elegiac offshoot of Parzival..… (mer)
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The poem centers on the Arthurian hero Parzival and his long quest for the Holy Grail following his initial failure to achieve it.

Parzival begins with the knightly adventures of Parzival's father, Gahmuret, his marriage to Herzeloyde, and the birth of Parzival. The story continues as Parzival meets three elegant knights, decides to seek King Arthur, and continues a spiritual and physical search for the Grail. A long section is devoted to Parzival's friend Gawan and his adventures defending himself from a false murder charge and winning the hand of the maiden Orgeluse. Among the most striking elements of the work are its emphasis on the importance of humility, compassion, sympathy and the quest for spirituality. A major theme in Parzival is love: heroic acts of chivalry are inspired by true love, which is ultimately fulfilled in marriage.

Wolfram's Parzival was an adaptation of the unfinished French romance Perceval, the Story of the Grail, by Chrétien de Troyes. Titurel provides the back-stories of Wolfram's characters, principally the wounded Grail-king Titurel and the tragic lovers Sigune and Schionatulander. Titurel was written some time after 1217, as indicated by its mention of the death of Hermann I, Landgrave of Thuringia, which occurred that year. It survives in three fragments and in Albrecht's Jüngere Titurel. The fragments primarily deal with the love between the young knight Schionatulander and the princess Sigune, the granddaughter of Titurel and a cousin of Parzival. Like Parzival the poems focus on the relationship between secular and spiritual obligations. ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Oct 18, 2021 |
I honestly don't know what to make of this. Somehow everything I understood in Chrétien, refracted through Wolfram, became confusing: why does Parzival disappear for almost the entire narrative? What's Gawain's point? Why the proliferation and names? What accounts for this paratactic aesthetic? I know it'd be fun to teach the authorial intrusions, and I'm sure the German is itself unbearably dense, probably the sort of thing that'd reward a life's attention. But lord knows I'll never put this on a syllabus: it's just too smart for me. ( )
  karl.steel | Apr 2, 2013 |
I'm glad I read this book for several reasons. First, I had wanted to read it since learning that it had influenced the wonderful novel Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes which I read earlier this year. Second, I had the advantage of reading it as part of a group read, and I benefited from the comments, insights, and encouragement of my fellow readers. And finally, I had recently finished Chrétien de Troyes's version in Arthurian Romances and was interested in comparing them.

And there's the rub. I much preferred Chrétien's version, even though it was unfinished, possibly because I really loved all of his tales. Chrétien is a considerably livelier writer, and has deeper psychological insight -- maybe he just seems more modern. Wolfram's writing is, dare I say it, Germanic -- heavy, convoluted, and occasionally confusing (the book's introduction and translator both address the difficulty of Wolfram's style). But even more than that, which I got used to, he is obsessed with the names and provenance of dozens and dozens and dozens of characters. Even with a list of people and places that runs to 16 pages in the edition I read (as well as a somewhat unreadable family tree), it was impossible to keep track of who everyone was or where they came from. I wonder whether all this information was meaningful to medieval readers or whether it was just something that Wolfram loved. And, as in Chrétien, the jousts can come to seem endless and interchangeable.

There were things I liked about this book. Wolfram has a sly habit of injecting himself into the story, mostly in a deprecating way, but it was fun when he did. His writing, occasionally, is poetic, and thanks are due to the translator (in my edition, Cyril Edwards) for this because I've seen corresponding sections from other translators and they are different. For example, at the very beginning, Edwards's translation rhymes "There is both scorning and adorning" and uses alliteration in "The flying image is far too fleet for fools." I again enjoyed seeing the relative personal and sexual freedom of upper class medieval women. And finally, I was glad to have the tale finished, and to understand this early version of the grail legend.

My edition also include excerpts from Titurel; that is, my edition is Parzival and Titure. I confess I skimmed through this, essentially a "prequel" to Parzival, in that it deals with the childhood of his mother and some of her relatives.
7 rösta rebeccanyc | Dec 4, 2011 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Wolfram von Eschenbachprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Barber, RichardInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Edwards, CyrilÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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If doubt is near neighbor to the heart, that man may turn sour on the soul. (Parzival)
While strong Titurel could still bestir himself, he ventured willingly into the attack, leading his men with him. (Titurel)
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Vast in its scope, incomparably dense in its imagery, Parzival ranks alongside Dante's Divine Comedy as one of the foremost narrative works to emerge from medieval Europe.Written in the first decade of the thirteenth century, Parzival is the greatest of the medieval Grail romances. It tells of Parzival's growth from youthful folly to knighthood at the court of King Arthur, and of his quest for the Holy Grail. Full of incident and excitement, the story involves deedsof chivalry, tournaments and sieges, courtly love and other erotic adventures. Parzival's quest becomes a moral and spiritual journey of self-discovery, as he learns that he must repent of his past misdeeds if he is to succeed. Exuberant and Gothic in its telling, as well as profoundly moving,Parzival has inspired and influenced works as diverse as Wagner's Parsifal and Lohengrin, Terry Gilliam's film The Fisher King, and Umberto Eco's Baudolino.Cyril Edwards's fine translation also includes the fragments of Titurel, an elegiac offshoot of Parzival..

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