The ennobling power of love in the Medieval German lyric /
Stephen J. Kaplowitt.
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 1986.
212 p. --
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Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 1986.
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. 205-209.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1986-12:
The title of this study is misleading since Kaplowitt intends to demonstrate that the concept of the ``ennobling power of love'' was not a major theme in German minnesong, a claim, which he avers, is recurrent throughout scholarship on medieval German lyric. He succeeds in this aim. To back up his contention that this motif is indeed missing, Kaplowitt investigates the entire corpus of medieval lyric found in Des Minnesangs Fr;uhling (Leipzig, 1888) as well as the love poems of Walther von der Vogelweide. In addition, those poems regarded by traditional scholarship as ``spurious'' are also considered. The analysis proceeds in a straightforward, positivistic manner with little or no attention being paid to the status of the poets or the social situation in which minnesong was produced and flourished. Further, the ultimate sources of German minnesong and the themes found in it-i.e., the Proven;al lyric-are not drawn into the study. Nonetheless, the book is useful in that every poet found in Des Minnesangs Fr;uhling, as well as Walther, is subjected to close scrutiny. What emerges is a sensitive reading of the analyzed poems and an explication of the themes that are prevalent. By not using the newest edition of Des Minnesangs Fr;uhling, however, the volume's usefulness for researchers in the field is limited. Its value for advanced undergraduates and graduate students would be enhanced if the Middle High German quotations were also translated into English. The volume contains a good note section, a select bibliography, and an index of personal names.-F.G. Gentry, University of Wisconsin-Madison
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 1986
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