Vernacular Literary Theory in the Middle Ages

Vernacular Literary Theory in the Middle Ages : The German Tradition, 800-1300, in its European Context

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The first edition of this book appeared in German in 1985, and set an agenda for the study of medieval literary theory. Rather than seeing vernacular writers' reflections on their art, as found in prologues, epilogues and interpolations in literary texts, as merely deriving from established Latin traditions, Walter Haug shows that they marked the gradual emancipation of an independent vernacular poetics that went hand in hand with changing narrative forms. While focusing primarily on medieval German writers, Haug also takes into account French literature of the same period, and the principles underlying his argument are equally relevant to medieval literature in English or any other European language.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 444 pages
  • 152 x 226 x 36mm | 780.17g
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0521027993
  • 9780521027991
  • 1,756,365

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'... an intelligent, sparkling book.' Neue Zurcher Zeitung '... it is to be hoped that this brilliant and lively book will quickly find a readership in related disciplines of study.' Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift

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Back cover copy

The first edition of this book appeared in German in 1985, and set a new agenda for the study of medieval literary theory. Rather than seeing vernacular writers' reflections on their art, such as are found in prologues, epilogues and interpolations in literary texts, as merely deriving from established Latin traditions, Walter Haug shows that they marked the gradual emancipation of an independent vernacular poetics that went hand in hand with changing narrative forms. While focussing primarily on medieval German writers, Haug also takes into account French literature of the same period, and the principles underlying his argument are equally relevant to medieval literature in English or any other European language. This ground-breaking study is now available in English for the first time.

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