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Parzival & Titurel

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3.8  ·  Rating details ·  76 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
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. Exuberant and gothic in its telling, and profoundly moving, Parzival has inspired and influenced works as diverse as Wagner's Parsifa ...more
Paperback, 415 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published April 15th 2004)
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Mark
Feb 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
I haven't the least doubt that attempting to render medieval German verse in modern prose is extremely difficult, but still, this is a laughably horrible attempt. At the very least, a translation should be readable, and this version of Parzival is so stilted, awkward, and full of howlers that it is torment to read. The translator seems to have made every effort to represent every single word of Parzival in modern English, regardless of any sort of consideration of flow and readability. For examp ...more
Belle Wood
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A good book, if slightly confusing. Chivalric romance tends to be confusing anyway, as the authors (or, sometimes, copyists) try to shoehorn in everything they know. Names come thick and fast, characters die in their first outings, and it can be a bit much. Narrative consistency not being an issue for writers in that period, there is an awful lot of 'oh, and by the way, although I didn't tell you this before, this is true' as they strive to close a narrative loop. Also, the amount of sex mention ...more
Mattschratz
Apr 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Wolfram's narrating persona endears itself through a Malory-like enthusiasm about both secular chivalry and the mysteries of the grail, both in the beginning part (not in Chretien) regarding Parzival's father and his first marriage, and throughout the crib from Chretien. When he picks up afterwards, though he starts out strong with some good railing against God from Parzival, we then get just a really long fight between Parzival and his heathen brother, some talk about pronouns, and, most dumb, ...more
Karl Steel
Jan 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: medieval
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 ...more
Richard
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: grad-school
A fascinating and infuriating book at the same time. A 'best seller' in the 12th century, it gives a good insight into the ways of thinking of the literate classes at the time. This is a long text, so not for the fainthearted and it can see repetitive at times. But it raises a lot of interesting issues, that I wouldn't have even considered, such as issues around racial tolerance. Although of uneven pace where the pace picks up there are some great section. This one is for those who want to study ...more
A. Anupama
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charming and wild, and I love epic poetry anyway. Started reading to prepare for going to Wagner's opera, but nothing can prepare one for that!
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Wolfram von Eschenbach (c. 1170 – c. 1220) was a German knight and poet, regarded as one of the greatest epic poets of his time. As a Minnesinger, he also wrote lyric poetry.

Little is known of Wolfram's life. There are no historical documents which mention him, and his works are the sole source of evidence. In Parzival he talks of wir Beier ("we Bavarians") and the dialect of his works is East Fra
...more
More about Wolfram von Eschenbach...