Politis, Cordula Books
Dr. Cordula Politis received her Ph.D. from Trinity College, Dublin and currently holds an IRCHSS Government of Ireland Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Department of Germanic Studies at Trinity College. She is a member of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, TCD and has published several articles on medieval and early modern German literature.2007 0-7734-5448-9
This book is an examination of the concept of Fortune in the narratives of the sixteenth-century German writer, Jörg Wickram. Wickram, often regarded as the founding father of the German prose novel, posited an internalisation of Fortune quite at odds with the ideas of both his contemporaries and predecessors. Throughout the Middles Ages, Fortune functioned as a representation of the experience of contingency and the human attempt to cope with it within the confines of a God-given order. The Renaissance saw the advent of the notion that an individual possessed the ability to control his or her life to a certain extent, but the perception of Fortune as an external force acting on human agents remained intact. Wickram, however, saw Fortune not only as an external force acting in conjunction with or competing with divine agency, but also as a force within the human mind; it was this innovative understanding which set him apart from his contemporaries and lent originality to his literature. To illustrate this, this work examines Wickram’s thought and his narratives, focusing on three major issues: The relationship between Fortune and God; the internalisation of Fortune to the human mind; and the location of Wickram’s Fortune in a historical context.