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Wolfram’s Parzival

On the Genesis of its Poetry

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Marianne Wynn

Since its rediscovery for the modern reader approximately one hundred and fifty years ago, Wolfram's 'Parzival' has attracted a vast number of commentators and interpreters and has in consequence become one of the most controversial works of European literature. Even though Wolframs's other works are equally outstanding in originality and artistic distinction, the lion's share of Wolfram criticism has come to be devoted to 'Parzival'.
This study attempts to isolate leading themes and fundamental meanings of the work by detailed observation and description of Wolfram's poetic craftsmanship, and by reference to the poet's historical background and to his audience. Particular concerns here were to try and elucidate further the difficult and problematic core of the work, the so-called Book IX, and to gain insight in to Wolfram's independence as a poet.