Eschenbach, Wolfram von (c.1160–c.1220), translated by Kline, A. S. (contact-email)

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Parzival is dated, from internal and circumstantial evidence, to the first decade of the 13th century. The work is written in the East Franconian dialect of Middle High German. Its author Wolfram von Eschenbach was a contemporary of Gottfried von Strassburg, creator of the epic Tristan. Wolfram was Bavarian, and Hermann I of Thuringia appears to have been a major patron. Parzival is an extensive development of Chrétien de Troyes’ unfinished ‘Perceval’, the first extant version of the Grail theme, though Wolfram, perhaps mischievously, claims an unknown poet, named Kyot, from Provençe, as his source. Parzival is a fine and representative work from the richest period of Medieval German poetry which, as well as Tristan, includes the courtly love-lyrics of the Minnesingers.

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Kline, A. S.

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