New Title in Bithell Series of Dissertations Available

Monday 23 January 2017

Volume 45 in the Institute's 'Bithell Series of Dissertations' is now available. Laufer Front Cover

13th-century author Konrad von Würzburg has long been recognised as an exceptionally self-conscious poet, who frequently reflects on the nature, status and function of poetry, and who at times appears more concerned with the sparkling surface of his discourse than with the events he narrates. Taking these observations as a starting point, Esther Laufer's book is the first comprehensive examination of the metapoetics in his Trojanerkrieg.

The study uncovers the far-reaching network of explicit and implicit metapoetic expression that permeates the text at every level - even though its multifaceted imagery and arguments resist translation into the language of formal literary theory. Konrad's drawing on imagery of religious origin offers a new perspective from which to address the controversial question of the Christian author's attitude towards the pagan splendour of the narrated world. In highlighting the pitfalls of metapoetic interpretation and mapping out possible conceptualizations of textuality, language and poetry as well as the relationship between secular and religious literature, the volume also makes a broader contribution to medieval literary studies. 

Esther Laufer studied German Literature and History of Art at the University of Bochum before completing a PhD at the University of Cambridge. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Bochum working on the materiality of 15th- and 16th-century German translations of the Roman poet Terence.

'mit worten lûter unde glanz'. Metapoetics in Konrad von Würzburg's 'Trojanerkrieg' is available from the Institute or the University of London online shop.

ISBN 978 0 85457 253 3 • x, 301pp • 2016

Other titles in the series