Sunday, June 02, 2013

Hans Naumann. Die Minnesinger in Bildern (nd, but ca. 1935)

     Hans Naumann. Die Minnesinger in Bildern (nd, but ca. 1935) One of the Insel Verlag series , the book reproduces a number of medieval paintings of German courtly love poets, made some time after the height of the fashion. The colour printing is state of the art for the 1930s, and quite attractive, although time and oxygen have darkened the pages. The Geleitwort (guide-word, i.e., introduction) by Naumann is interesting in its obvious reflection of Nazi ideology. There is no mention whatsoever of the origin of courtly love in the Provence. The whole phenomenon is presented as a strictly German expression of the culture of the noble knight, which itself is also presented with no reference to sources outside Germany. Germany at the time of the Minnesinger did not exist, but was a mess of princelings and kings quarrelling with each other over little patches of land for which there was no documented ownership, but this fact is simply passed over. Interesting example of how ideology distorts historical writing. *** for the pictures, * for the text. (2005)

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