Mystic Women and Lyric Poets in Medieval Society

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Herbert Schutz

Mystic Women and Lyric Poets in Medieval Society. The Literary View of Medieval Culture During the Romanesque Period in Central Europe 900-1300

ISBN 978-3-86821-249-5, 240 S., kt., € 25,00 (2010)

This book examines some of the literature which animated the Romanesque period in Central Europe from 900 to 1300. Clerics and monks generated the perception of the Middle Ages as a bookish and spiritual period. The oral culture representing the largely illiterate population played a very subordinate role. However, in this reputedly Christian society, the individualistic oral lay culture sustained its place and restrained and channelled the reformative intellectualism of the church. Beginning in the early eleventh century, knighthood started to set the cultural tone. Towards the end of the thirteenth century a new secular literature of lyric, epic and dramatic genres emerged, written in the German vernacular. It marked most clearly the cultural transition from a religious to a secular emphasis. Chivalry gradually placed competing accents beside those placed by the church Six topics illustrate the Romanesque study of the world of nature and that of the human spirit: empirical and spiritual approaches to knowledge, Medieval Liturgical Drama, Middle High German Epic Poetry, Courtly Romances and Middle High German Lyric Poetry. Some of the Latin literature, along with the moralizing admonitions, were intended for the religious edification of an educated audience, warning of the risks to salvation lurking in secular works. Largely outside of the ecclesiastical context, the role of women as practitioners and theorists within the religious cult and as poetic subjects of the secular love service received greater emphasis. While the literary genres served as didactic instruments, this literature also recorded the erosion of the cultural supports, the changes and ultimate societal collapse during the Romanesque period.

Buchvorschau / Inhaltsverzeichnis (pdf)