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Krieg der Sänger by Robert Löhr
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Krieg der Sänger (2012)

by Robert Löhr (Author)

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141952,187 (4.07)2
Member:Hrafntinna
Title:Krieg der Sänger
Authors:Robert Löhr (Author)
Info:Piper Verlag GmbH
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Krieg der Sänger by Robert Löhr (2012)

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The Sängerkrieg (war of the singers) was an imaginary contest between the greatest medieval poets in German, described in a 13th century manuscript and supposed to have taken place in the Wartburg under the patronage of Landgrave Hermann of Thuringia. It caught the attention of 19th century romantics and nationalists, as a representation of cultural and political unity, the birth of the German language, the coming together of Christian and pre-Christian ideas, etc. Everyone from Novalis to ETA Hoffman had a go at it, and it gave Wagner the plot of Tannhäuser.

Löhr takes this sublime moment when Walter von der Vogelweide and Wolfram von Eschenbach were pitting their poetical and performance skills against the (mythical) Heinrich von Ofterdingen, and imagines how it might really have worked out if such a bunch of great creative egos had been invited to a house-party at an isolated castle in the middle of winter. Especially when all of them were also trained fighting men, and had been involved both personally and through their patrons in the civil wars of the time.

The result is a lively, swashbuckling adventure, something between Ivanhoe and a murder mystery story. High culture is there of course, but it's on the margins: the real story is all about greed, envy, lust and political advantage. To add to the fun, we also get a frame narrative involving a later guest at the Wartburg, Martin Luther, a pot of ink, and you-know-who. Very entertaining! ( )
  thorold | Dec 27, 2014 |
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