Hartmann von Aue

Hartmann von Aue
(ca. 1160–ca. 1210)
   The Southwest German (Allemanic) poet Hartmann von Aue introduced the genre of the Arthurian ROMANCE to German literature. He translated, or adapted, CHRÉTIEN DE Troyes’s Old French romance EREC (ca. 1160) into Middle High German in about 1180 (one complete manuscript from the early 16th century survives, and three fragments).At the end of his life he also translated Chrétien’s YVAIN as Iwein, ca. 1203 (15 complete manuscripts and 17 fragments). His earliest text, however, was the didactic dialogue poem Die Klage (ca. 1175; one manuscript) in which a heart and body discuss the nature of love. Two other major works by Hartmann are the religious verse legend Gregorius (ca. 1187; six complete manuscripts and five fragments) and the erotic verse novella Der arme Heinrich (Poor Henry, ca. 1191; three manuscripts). In between he also composed 18 COURTLY LOVE songs, so-called Minnelieder, copied in the famous Manessische Liederhandschrift (ms. C, early 14th century) and two other manuscripts. Manuscript C also contains a fictionalized portrait of Hartmann, but it does not tell us anything about the historical poet. We know that Hartmann hailed from Swabia, which is confirmed by his language and his association with the ducal family of Zähringen. However, there are many locations in southwest Germany with the suffix au or aue, or a corresponding word compound, so we cannot identify Hartmann’s origin any further. As he relied heavily on Chrétien’s works, he obviously had a very good command of French.
   In his two Arthurian romances,Hartmann pursues a fairly identical narrative model centered on the court of King ARTHUR. Early in the narratives the protagonist leaves the court to pursue chivalric adventures and quickly achieves triumphant success, which then allows him to marry in the presence of Arthur. In Erec the young husband too passionately embraces marital life with Enite and neglects his duties as a ruler and knight. In Iwein the opposite is the case, as the hero departs from his wife, Laudine, soon after their marriage, promising her to return from his tournament journey within one year. But he forgets his promise and is subsequently rejected by Laudine. Erec embarks on a brutal quest for his recovery as an honorable knight and forces his wife to accompany him. Although he forbids her to speak to him, she repeatedly warns him of oncoming dangers and so saves his life, but he punishes her for disobeying him with increasing intensity. Ultimately, however, he learns to accept his wife as an equal partner which then gives him enough strength to win the most dangerous battle against a hostile knight, and thus he reestablishes the joie de la curt (“joy of courtly life”). Iwein, on the other hand, once he has lost his wife, loses his mind and roams the forest naked, until a maiden rescues him by means of a magic salve. Now he goes on his true quest, accompanied by a lion whom he had protected against a dragon, and finally demonstrates that he has learned the fundamental values of knighthood and chivalry, involving compassion, empathy, protection of women and orphans, and service for the poor and needy. Iwein also wins back his wife, Laudine, and returns to King Arthur.
   In Gregorius Hartmann traces the life of his young hero, the product of a brother’s rape of his sister.Although he is raised in a convent and could easily succeed the abbot, who treats him like his son, Gregorius is anxious to learn about his noble origin and soon unwittingly marries his mother (like Oedipus in Greek myth). When the truth comes out, he is so deeply grieved that he has a fisherman lock him to a rock in the middle of a lake and is then abandoned. God, however, keeps him alive, and after 17 years, he is chosen as the new pope because he has proven to be the true penitent and hence a model Christian. In Der arme Heinrich, a young knight contracts the deadly disease of leprosy and can only await his death until a young peasant woman offers herself as sacrifice for his recovery, according to the advice of a famous medical doctor in Salerno (near Naples). Although Henry at first agrees, he quickly changes his mind when he peaks through a hole in the wall separating him from the operation room where he observes the naked woman on the table and is deeply moved by her beauty. Renouncing his original plan and respecting God’s intentions for him, he terminates the preparations for the surgery to remove her heart. The woman expresses deep frustration because she had hoped to gain quick salvation for her soul, but in the end, she has to accept Henry’s decision. At this point, God, who has observed Henry’s change of mind, helps him to recover, and once he has returned home and resumed his leadership, he elevates the woman and her family to the status of free peasants, which then allows him to marry her. Despite its seemingly simplistic religious framework and similarity to a fairy tale, this verse novella invites many different interpretations as an ALLEGORY of human frailty and dependency on God’s will, as a symbolic tale of true love, and as a psychological account of an individual’s quest for his or her identity. In his 18 courtly love poems (four of them of questionable authenticity),Hartmann pursues traditional themes representative of classical Middle High German Minnesang (courtly love poetry).He formulates, above all, complaints about unfulfilled love, yet he also idealizes the pursuit of love for ethical reasons. In his Tristan (ca. 1210),GOTTFRIED VON STRASSBURG praises Hartmann as one of the leading poets of his time.
   ■ Clark, Susan L. Hartmann von Aue: Landscapes of Mind. Houston, Tex.: Rice University Press, 1989.
   ■ Hartmann von Aue. Arthurian Romances, Tales, and Lyric Poetry: The Complete Works. Translated by Frank Tobin, Richard Lawson, and Kim Vivian. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001.
   Albrecht Classen

Encyclopedia of medieval literature. 2013.

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  • Hartmann von Aue — (c. 1170 c. 1210) was a leading poet of the Middle High German period.He belonged to the lower nobility of Swabia, where he was born. After receiving a monastic education, he became retainer ( Dienstmann ) of a nobleman whose domain, Aue, has… …   Wikipedia

  • Hartmann Von Aue — Hartman von Aue d après le Codex Manesse Hartmann von Aue (vers 1170 vers 1210) était un poète allemand important au Moyen Âge. Hartmann von Aue (Owe, aussi Awe) est né dans une famille noble de Souabe, un Dienst …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hartmann von aue — Hartman von Aue d après le Codex Manesse Hartmann von Aue (vers 1170 vers 1210) était un poète allemand important au Moyen Âge. Hartmann von Aue (Owe, aussi Awe) est né dans une famille noble de Souabe, un Dienst …   Wikipédia en Français

  • HARTMANN VON AUE — (1160 env. entre 1205 et 1215) Le premier en date des grands classiques du roman courtois en Allemagne (G. Zink). D’après les quelques témoignages littéraires qui nous sont parvenus (Wolfram d’Eschenbach, Gottfried de Strasbourg) et les… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Hartmann von Aue — (Owe), mittelhochdeutscher Dichter, geb. um 1170 aus einem edlen Geschlecht in Schwaben, gest. nach 1210, war Dienstmann der Herren von Aue und nahm teil am Kreuzzug von 1197 (oder schon 1189?). Über seine weitern Schicksale ist nichts bekannt.… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Hartmann von Aue — • A Middle High German epic poet and minnesinger; died between 1210 and 1220 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Hartmann von Aue — Herr Hartmann von Aue (autorretrato ficticio en el Codex Manesse, fol. 184v, sobre 1300). Hartmann que von Aue (* alrededor de 1180 hasta 1205[1] † entre 1210 y 1220) es …   Wikipedia Español

  • Hartmann von Aue — Traduction à relire Hartmann von Aue → …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hartmann von Aue — Herr Hartmann von Aue (fiktives Autorenporträt im Codex Manesse, fol. 184v, um 1300) Hartmann von Aue († vermutlich zwischen 1210 und 1220) gilt neben Wolfram von Eschenbach und Gottfried von Straßburg als der bedeutendste Epiker der sogenannten… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hartmann von Aue — I Hạrtmann von Aue,   mittelhochdeutscher Dichter, Hartmann von Aue. II Hartmann von Aue,   mittelhochdeutscher Dichter, * 2. Hälfte des 12. Jahrhunderts, ✝ Anfang des 13. Jahrhunderts; bezeichnet sich selbst in seiner Dichtung als gelehrten… …   Universal-Lexikon

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