You are not currently logged in.
Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Representation of Visual Reality in Perceval and Parzival
Annemarie E. Mahler
Vol. 89, No. 3 (May, 1974), pp. 537-550
Published by: Modern Language Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/461590
Page Count: 14
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Lions, Windows, Pictorial representation, Medieval art, Architecture, Roofs, Medieval literature, Symmetry, Swords, Geometric shapes
Were these topics helpful?See something inaccurate? Let us know!
Select the topics that are inaccurate.
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
The image projected in the reader's mind by an author's description offers a basis for comparison with the visual arts. Art historical criteria are applied to equivalent descriptions-a portrait, an architectural complex, and a scene involving motion-in the Perceval of Chrestien de Troyes and the Parzival of Wolfram von Eschenbach. Chrestien's traditional rhetorical portrait of Blancheflor is a still, frontal, symmetrical image; his description of chastel merveile gives meticulous surface detail but instead of a logical spatial connection the parts are simply juxtaposed in the plane; Gavain's fight with the lion shows no real motion but breaks down into a series of still vignettes which represent rather than show the action. On the other hand, Wolfram's portrait of Condwiramurs is glimpsed from various angles and distances as she moves through space; Schastel Marveile is vaguely described but spatially self-consistent; motion in Gawan's lion fight is continuous in both space and time. Thus Chrestien's descriptions relate to the dominant tradition of medieval art which shows figures and objects in characteristic poses or arrangements outlined in the plane, Wolfram's to that uncommon strain which attempts to cope with natural relationships, particularly those of volumes in space.
PMLA © 1974 Modern Language Association