IMC 2005: Sessions

Session 717: Literary Images of Youth and Medieval Heroes, II

Tuesday 12 July 2005, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Oswald von Wolkenstein-Gesellschaft / Department of Germanic Studies, Trinity College Dublin
Organiser:Sieglinde Hartmann, Oswald von Wolkenstein-Gesellschaft, Frankfurt am Main
Moderator/Chair:Cordula Böcking-Politis, Department of Germanic Studies, Trinity College, University of Dublin
Paper 717-aYoung Heroes in the Historiography of the 10th and 11th Centuries: 'Adolescens acer et fortis' or 'clemens et humilis'?
(Language: English)
Käthe Sonnleitner, Institut für Geschichte, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Comparative
Paper 717-bSiegfried and Sigurd
(Language: English)
Edward R. Haymes, Department of Modern Languages, Cleveland State University, Ohio
Index terms: Language and Literature - Comparative, Language and Literature - German
Paper 717-cTristan in Thomas de Bretagne and Gottfried von Strassburg
(Language: English)
Neil Thomas, Department of German, University of Durham
Index terms: Language and Literature - Comparative, Language and Literature - French or Occitan

Heroes of courtly epics seem to enjoy eternal youth. Except for Wolfram’s Parzival, heroes like Erec, Tristan or Wigalois therefore embody the paradoxical characteristics of a ‘puer senex’ since they possess both the beauty of youth and the wisdom of old age. Up to now, there has been no systematic research about the rise and spread of this literary ideal. Therefore, the two sessions intend to open up new approaches to understanding the courtly ideal of ‘immortal’ heroes in contrast to other medieval conceptions of cyclical life and also in contrast to images of mortal heroes in heroic epics.