Tristan

Gotefrit in the Liederhandschrift--14th century

Capito has been hard at work on a bibliography page for this blog, a process every bit as tedious as proofing type at the printers.

What better way to rest one’s brain than to spend a rainy weekend with Gottfried von Strassburg’s account of the love miseries of Tristan and Isolt? 

Do not be put off, Best Reader, by the seemingly endless repetition.  Our modern world, as fast as a runaway horse, has no patience or skill at reposeful reading.  But stick with it, and you will find that no one in any century has so perfectly captured the confusion and tangled emotions called by that simple name of love. 

Though the characters had existed for centuries, Gottfried lifted them from legend and gave them depth and humanity.  No wonder his version has survived three hundred years.  Here is an interesting translation by Professor Lee Stavenhagen.  

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Published in: on May 14, 2011 at 7:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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