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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54664
Doc. No:TL24618
Call number:‭3347509‬
Main Entry:Jon B. Sherman
Title & Author:The magician in medieval German literatureJon B. Sherman
College:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Date:2008
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2008
Page No:245
Abstract:The Magician in Medieval German Literature is an exploration of a number of issues related to magic and learning in vernacular German fiction from the Middle Ages. A close reading of medieval German narratives reveals that since magic was labeled demonic and unchristian by early Church Fathers, German authors in the Middle Ages were forced to adopt a number of strategies to characterize those who studied and used it. These strategies either alienated and marginalized magicians, so that they appear only on the geographic or socio-cultural periphery of medieval narratives, or they furthered the medieval Church's tenet that all magic is demonic and inherently dangerous. Conversely, the omnipresent association of magic with any number of ideas connected to knowledge and learning--especially in the science-magic pairs of astronomy/astrology, chemistry/alchemy and in the study of medicine--caused some authors to recast magic as a science or field of study. This can also be seen in the more general associations of magic with reading, foreign languages and Arabic learning, and even in the nebulous boundary between religion and magic. This study demonstrates that in medieval German literature the figure of the magician becomes a focal point for a literary debate, with the majority of authors taking a position suspicious of magic and either relegating it to a marginal position within their narratives or wholly demonizing it. Some few authors, however, challenged this notion and used magic to address the boundaries of learning, knowledge and education and to praise the merit and potential of all study, magical or otherwise.
Subject:Language, literature and linguistics; Middle High German; Medieval; Literature; Magic; Magician; Middle Ages; Germanic literature; 0311:Germanic literature
Added Entry:C. Bornholdt
Added Entry:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign