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Author Song, Sumie L
Title Places of interest: The rhetoric of space in high-medieval courtly romance and late-medieval love discourse
book jacket
Descript 262 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 66-05, Section: A, page: 1786
Director: Ann Marie Rasmussen
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Duke University, 2004
Critics across a host of disciplines have written on the subject of memory, which has come to play a key role in our attempt to understand the past. Mary J. Carruthers has shown that memory in the Middle Ages functioned as a tool of moral instruction, an art or discipline that taught mental associational strategies for imprinting information onto memory for the purpose of rhetorical invention. Like most studies of medieval memory; Carruthers' research focuses on learned writings. My project explore two genres of German vernacular literature, the high-medieval romance and the late-medieval Minnerede or love discourse, in which setting, scenery, and space function, just as they function in the art of memory, to contextualize and order knowledge
My dissertation is divided into two parts. In Part One, I analyze how techniques of spatial description in courtly romance configure moral argument. Chapter One explains how spatial memory works in Hartmann's Iwein to construct a moral ideology of knighthood by situating and critiquing heroic action. Chapter Two turns to Wolfram's Parzival , where the spatial heuristics of memory are literally taken apart to deconstruct the conventions of Arthurian romance. Chapter Three proposes that space in Gottfried's Tristan does not model moral behavior, per se, but rather, gives audiences a model by which they themselves can judge what is moral
In Part Two, I examine how space is represented in a later collection of poems called Minnereden. Chapter Four attempts to construct a poetics of space for the genre, in which various mnemotechniques are shown both to reiterate and newly conceive themes and narrative forms belonging to the courtly tradition. I conclude that two dominant iv models of space distinguish high- from late-medieval literary narrative, informing how they see memory in relation to reading and rhetorical composition. Through their particular spatial perspectives, such works enable audiences not only to understand what it is they are reading, but to respond to it by inventing their own arguments
School code: 0066
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 66-05A
Subject Literature, Germanic
Literature, Medieval
Language, Rhetoric and Composition
Alt Author Duke University
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