The Presentation of Authorship in Medieval German Literature 1220-1290

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This book sheds light on the complexity of medieval German literary culture as it evolved in the course of the thirteenth century (c. 1220-1290) by analysing the attitudes of narrative poets towards the issue of authorship. It describes the various ways in which vernacular writers could address the theme of their own authorship within their literary works, and explores the tensions that arose between such authorial strategies on the one hand and their subsequent manuscript transmission on the other. The first part of the book deals with the presentation of authorship in the works of two poets who stand at the heart of literary tradition (Rudolf von Ems; Konrad von Wurzburg), and involves discussion of such topics as authorial signature, acrostics, author portraits, and patronage; the second part deals with two genres (heroic epic; short story) that evince a rather more problematic relationship with the figure of the author.