Bridal-Quest Epics in Medieval Germany
- Sarah Bowden
- Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, Modern Humanities Research Association
- Subject Areas
- Germanic, Culture, Language & Literature, History, Bithell Series of Dissertations
König Rother, Salman und Morolf, the Münchner Oswald and Grauer Rock (otherwise known as Orendel) have had a troubled position in the literary history of medieval Germany. Forced into a normative generic framework as either ‘Minstrel Epic’ (Spielmannsepik) or ‘Bridal-quest Epic’ (Brautwerbungsepik), these texts have been viewed conventionally according to an essentially teleological classification or a schematic ideal. Bowden challenges the premises of such a view with a detailed history of the textual scholarship, and revaluates these so called ‘Bridal-quests’ on their own terms, offering detailed and suggestive readings of each work without the distortions or limitations inherent in the traditional interpretative model.
Sarah Bowden is Powys Roberts Research Fellow at St Hugh’s College, Oxford.