A very, very pleasant English translation by A. T. Hatto. Much recommended if you want to know how Gottfried von Strassburg's tale ends, as this incluA very, very pleasant English translation by A. T. Hatto. Much recommended if you want to know how Gottfried von Strassburg's tale ends, as this includes the fragments of the 'Tristran' by Thomas de Bretagne, on whose version Gottfried's version was supposedly based. By a stroke of luck, we have the complete text by Gottfried (2/3 of the story), and history has left us the last 1/3 of Thomas' version too. Hatto here presents the whole tale, as best as he can, by combining several sources.
It really is a wonderful translation, much recommended!...more
There's no use posting updates for this reader, as I won't be reading the entire thing (nowhere close to it, I'm afraid). It's full of excerpts of 121There's no use posting updates for this reader, as I won't be reading the entire thing (nowhere close to it, I'm afraid). It's full of excerpts of 121 of the more important texts related to post-colonial studies. As judged by the page numbers, each text only gets a few pages to itself. As such, the book is very good for orientation, but mostly leaves out a good part of the original argumentation.
Then again, you simply can't put everything into one single reader. It is what it is, a very good organised reader: you can find excerpts per topic, which is extremely handy and gives you most relevant texts within seconds. Definitely can be put to good use when you're studying about post-colonial theory....more
This book and I didn't get off to a good start. In the end, I still didn't like the book very much, but at least I don't hate it as much as most of myThis book and I didn't get off to a good start. In the end, I still didn't like the book very much, but at least I don't hate it as much as most of my fellow students seem to do.
This book is supposed to be an overview of the history of anthropology, and other fields of study that have influenced it (like linguistics, sociology, etc.). Agar mentions interesting studies, but overall the book is hardly scientific (e.g. no sources mentioned). It puzzles me that one of the supposedly most difficult courses in my university prescribes this book. It doesn't seem like a book aimed at a student audience.. I got the feeling Agar wrote this to get random people interested in anthropology. Without extensive side material and good classes, I feel this book fails as a scientific effort.
Agar has definitely had some nice experiences in his life, however. As a story teller he's not half bad (though he still has some issues there, as well). I do enjoy reading about his experiences, particularly because he's lived in Vienna for quite a while, so I expected to be able to relate to that. Maybe it's the time difference, but he and I had very different experiences. Still, I liked reading about Agar's experiences in getting used to other cultures, even if at times he really seemed overly American (and ignorant).
What I did not like was his attitude at times, mostly in the beginning. For instance his criticism on the Sie/du-issue in German. This is mostly fueled by the fact that English doesn't use this distinction, I do think. To say that most people would be happier if this distinction were to disappear altogether? Well, I seriously doubt it. I've encountered difficulties with Sie/du as well, but taking them out of the language would just create a myriad of other problems in a culture where this system is embedded, and used as a means to show, amongst other things, respect. It's a throwaway comment of Agar's, but at times it seriously made me wonder to which extent I should trust this guy as a narrator. Sometimes he's just an ass, too. When talking about De Saussure for instance, he mentions that the guy's work was published by his students, and that it was based on their notes. This is common knowledge, but his comment saying that he hopes his students wouldn't do that, because he'd seen the kind of notes they make.. well, that's both unnecessary and disrespectful. These little things bothered me while reading.
The book is also written in 1996, and quite dated in some aspects by now. The most obvious issue being that the Yugoslavian war has ended, but you do wonder what else we would question in the light of the other newfound knowledge from the past 15 years.
In short: some personal anecdotes were interesting, but on the whole.. don't bother. There are surely better introductions out there....more
Heinrich von Morungen is like a combination of the Medieval Minnesänger and the modern Nice Guy TM. The Minnesänger is, to put it way too easily, a poHeinrich von Morungen is like a combination of the Medieval Minnesänger and the modern Nice Guy TM. The Minnesänger is, to put it way too easily, a poet at court who writes love poetry for one specific lady. The lady is generally of high standing and unobtainable. The poet will write about his pain of her not accepting him, but stays near her because the pain she gives him is sweeter than her absence from his life would be.
Heinrich von Morungen is (pretends to be) one such individual. His lady ignores him, forbids him to sing, and is basically interesting because she also has her bad moods. Often the chosen ladies are perfect in every way, this lady can be mean, this lady can be cruel, he even calls her a witch and a murderer. In other words, as far as Minnesang-heroines go, she's kind of awesome.
Morungen laments that she does not like him despite everything he's done for her (which is where the Nice Guy TM comes in) and he starts calling her names because he's so bitter about it all. And yet, he loves her too and would love to speak to her. This does not redeem him in any way for me, as he also damns her to hell, promises he will come back to haunt her in the afterlife and will make sure his son will continue his revenge of her, should Morungen die before she does.
Let's be honest, the dude is kinda creepy. I'm not surprised she wanted to have nothing to do with him (even if it's unlikely this lady really existed in real life).
Still, Morungen is interesting because he did some things differently from his predecessors: he speaks to his lady directly, and she's not just perfect. His anger is more understandable for modern readers, than the chosen suffering is. But because his work broke with tradition to some extent, it was apparently ignored for some time. Poor Heinrich von Morungen.
This edition is a surprisingly nice one. It has the songs in both Mittelhochdeutsch and Neuhochdeutsch/German translations, an introduction to Minnesang, Morungens place in the German Minnesang-history, and it sums up what we know of his life, too. Besides that it talks about the different manuscripts, why these versions of the poems were chosen, and it explains in depth why certain passages were translated in a particular way. It's a very good overview for the guy's work, and will also be understandable for beginning readers of this genre.. provided they read the notes in the back first....more
A less philosophical, but more straight-forward retelling of Tristan & Isolde than the Gottfried von Straßburg version. It's also complete, whichA less philosophical, but more straight-forward retelling of Tristan & Isolde than the Gottfried von Straßburg version. It's also complete, which is a nice bonus. Though this story is also about Tristan & Isolde, it's fundamentally different from Gottfried's text, most critically differing in how fleshed out the characters are and the role God/fate play in the story.
The translation of this version was quite readable, but probably should've been edited once more before publishing, because the many typoes were astonishing!...more
It'd have been nice to have a few more Neuhochdeutsche translations.. but it adequately summarizes the story, the history of the Eilhart version and oIt'd have been nice to have a few more Neuhochdeutsche translations.. but it adequately summarizes the story, the history of the Eilhart version and offers interesting comments. But I was mostly looking for a translation, and am therefore a little disappointed in this book.
This book basically shows the disadvantages of having to order books online. Had I seen this one in the store, I wouldn't have spent this much money on it. Oh well. I'll be able to quote from it (yay for knowing the story practically by heart), so it's luckily not a waste of money....more
Still a wildly fascinating read. On the reread however, I found I got a lot more from this book than just the horror of war. I had already figured outStill a wildly fascinating read. On the reread however, I found I got a lot more from this book than just the horror of war. I had already figured out different sides to the story after overthinking what happened in the story, but the reread helps you to confirm these thoughts. When you think about this book, you start recognizing the different voices that can be found in the book and you will have to reconsider the character of our Simpleton and the role of the narrative. The book is also surprisingly funny, if you're open for it.
I also want to say that this cover for the English version (which isn't my edition), is especially wonderful. They may have removed a very big part of the introduction to the text *, but all the clues can still be found here. Remarkable.
* The original German cover shows a chimera, as you will see on the cover of the edition I first reviewed. This figure, which is also surrounded by masks, gives you vital clues as to the character of our Simpleton. To some extent the English version does this too, I'm especially amused by the fact that the Alchemist is shown twice, as it were of course the alchemists who supposedly created chimeras. When this book was released, the original cover of the chimera came in place of an introduction: an introduction to this type of novel was the common practice, this book only gets this picture. The picture of the chimera is therefore vitally important, because it gives you important clues as to how you should read and understand the book. Which is why this particular replacement of the cover is actually interesting, because you still get facets of the Simpleton character, if you pick up on the fact that the cover is a very important hint to understanding the book. You can find a better picture of the cover here....more
I'm counting this for my reading challenge of 2012, even if I only read the 150 pages that dealt with "Das Wort im Roman". I find it very difficult toI'm counting this for my reading challenge of 2012, even if I only read the 150 pages that dealt with "Das Wort im Roman". I find it very difficult to rate Bakhtin, because his work really is rather difficult to get through and some paragraphs needed several rereads for me to even get a slight idea what Mr. Bakhtin was getting at. It's also not exactly a fun read, it's rather philosophical, and I'm just not sure how to rate it for Goodreads.
The theory discussed in Bakhtin's text itself is wildly fascinating, however. It deals with "Redevielfalt", a term that has also become known as polyphony in English, which is a name borrowed from the musicology. It basically states that within a novel, the writer combines several voices, which has the result that you get different points of view in the novel. He explains more about the different languages, his set-up of his ideas, the various speeches a writer can use to achieve polyphony and the faults in literary research so far (that is, until 1934/1935) in the 5 chapters dealing with "Das Wort im Roman" or, the word in the novel.
The idea is interesting and fascinating to work with, but it's difficult to get your head around what Bakhtin actually wanted. In those moments it's probably best to remember that I haven't heard of anyone so far who fully understood what Bakhtin was getting at. It's part of the frustration in reading it, but also part of the challenge. Though I've cursed myself quite often for choosing a subject for a paper that includes polyphony, which forced me to read, summarize and understand this work of Bakhtin's, I'm sure that when the stress is over I'll look back on this work fondly and think it over in regards to other books I've read, as well....more