West, Larry E. Books

Alsfeld Passion Play Text and Translation with Introduction
1997 0-7734-8698-4
This translation and introduction is intended to fill a crucial void in German literary and linguistic scholarship by 1) making the play available to an English-speaking audience; 2) examining its origins, development, staging, and unique contributions to the genre; and 3) providing a companion text for students of late Middle High German. The Alsfeld Passion Play represents the culmination, and perhaps the most complex stage of development of the German Passion Play tradition. The Alsfeld play was a three-day play, with performances in 1501, 1511, and 1517. With roles for 188 players it was presented on the open market square, and was conspicuous for its extensive devils' scenes, portrayal of Mary Magdalene before her conversion, and lengthy disputation scenes. At present there are no known translations of the Alsfeld play, in modern German or in English. The original manuscript, preserved at the Landesbibliothek in Kassel, contains 8095 lines of dialogue along with incipits, stage directions, and a rich variety of liturgical songs. Text and translations appear on facing pages. This book is available at a special text price. Call (716) 754-2788 for information on text orders.