By Henry B. Garland
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Extra resources for A Concise Survey of German Literature
The analogy of Konrad's work to the detailed art of the goldsmith is reinforced by his decorative hymn to the Virgin Mary, which is significantly entitled Die goldene Schmiede. Konrad's three longer romances, Engelhard, Partonopier und Meliur and Der Trojanerkrieg (which, though unfinished, reaches 40,000 lines) are laid out on a scale at which his manner is no longer effective. His merit is his ornate style (geblUmte Rede, as he called it), which unfolds itself in elegant detail; he had not the gift of shaping a large-scale work.
Gerhardt's hymns have a direct warmth of feeling and an unsentimental sensitivity. The best-known of all these poems, many of which have survived to the present day, is the 'Abendlied' ('Nun ruhen aile Walder'); while in '0 Haupt voll Blut und Wunden' Gerhardt made an exceptionally felicitous translation of a Latin hymn by St Bernard of Clairvaux. Johann Scheffler (1624-77), a Silesian physician who used the pseudonym Angelus Silesius ('the Silesian Messenger'), belonged to the Catholic side of the confessional divide.
Das Narrenschiff, published in 1494 by Sebastian Brant (14571521 ), a minor official in Strasburg, exposes the public and private follies of the time, providing a final summary of the Middle Ages and giving a hint of a new age to come. 3 The Sixteenth Century Towards the end of the fifteenth century the chivalric world seemed for a moment to give a flickering promise of renewal. The Habsburg Emperor Maximilian I (1459-1519), who came to the throne in 1486, saw himself in his private fantasy as a knight battling against evil and he commissioned two large, handsome, illustrated works which should portray him in the image of a knightly hero.