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Abenteuer in Schleifen II

Räumliche Durchmessung und Heterotopien um den Gral im ‚Parzival‘ und im ‚Perlesvaus‘

Philip Reich

Pages 387 - 418

This article focuses on how the knights in Arthurian romances traverse the Grail Forest. This forest is decidedly different from the typical adventure forest, which, as exemplified in ‚Lancelot en prose‘, provokes movement in loops. Instead, the Grail Forest stands out as an extraordinary space. It also provides narratively experimental alternatives that point to paradoxes and hyperboles. The article is first concerned with the Middle High German romance ‚Parzival‘ by Wolfram von Eschenbach and follows the protagonist’s wild ride, which, though absolutely uncontrolled, is extremely fast and straightforward and therefore also free of adventures. The unconscious and aimless ride enables Parzival to cross the Grail Forest, which usually connotes risky encounters. His movement thus confronts a space with the greatest potential for adventure possible with an individual lack of adventure. This makes the Grail Forest an exceptional space and gives it a heterotopian quality. In the Old French prose romance ‚Perlesvaus‘, on the other hand, a space is designed around the Grail district that varies permanently, and can thus replace the movement in loops. The article tries to approach the inherent paradox of a maximum content of events in a limited space with approaches of historical narratology, hermetic mysticsm and hyperbolic geometry.


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