In: KulturPoetik 2016, Heft 2


Christoph Schanze


Dinge erzählen im Mittelalter. Zur narratologischen Analyse von Objekten in der höfischen Epik




Helmets, swords and armours, rings, magic belts, miraculous bandages and writing styluses that want to kill – medieval narratives are swarming with ›things‹ which provide a focus for storytelling. These ›things‹ also play a considerable role in the story’s plot and sometimes even develop a ›life‹ of their own or embody ›meaning‹ of their own. After concentrating on the question of how to define ›things‹ terminologically, this essay presents some criteria for analysing ›narrated things‹ in a narratological manner. Thus, this investigation concentrates on the specific ways used to tell of these things and, furthermore, tries to answer the question of their function concerning the development of the narratives. Three example analyses – of two deathly helmets in Heinrich von Veldeke’s Eneas, Famurgan’s non-healing magical bandage in Hartmann von Aue’s Erec and a death-bearing stylus in Konrad Fleck’s Flore und Blanscheflur – reveal the potential of this new approach.