Love, Life, and Lust in Heinrich Kaufringer's Verse Narratives

MRTS Texts for Teaching, Vol. 9

Love, Life, and Lust in Heinrich Kaufringer's Verse Narratives

By Albrecht Classen
2014 | 156 + xxx pp. | 15 ills. | 978-0-86698-520-8 | Paperback 6 x 9 in
MRTS 467 | $25 | £19 |

Heinrich Kaufringer (fl. ca. 1400) was one of the most important late medieval German authors of verse narratives (maeren). This significant contemporary of Geoffrey Chaucer composed truly insightful, entertaining, and didactic verse narratives in which he addresses fundamental issues in human life: Love, marriage, sexuality, money, religion, virtues and vices, faith, the seven deadly sins, the conflicts between Jews and Christians, problems with alcohol, corruption, the role of lawyers, priests and mayors, merchants, and students. Though still steeped in medieval traditions, Kaufringer’s tales invite us to reflect on universal concerns affecting all human life, such as communication, trust, confidence, cowardice, greed, compassion, character weakness and strength, foolishness, and intelligence. There is much to learn from his insights couched in most intriguing narratives, here rendered, for the first time, from late medieval German verse into modern English prose.