About the author: an emeritus professor at the University of Kentucky, J. Wesley Thomas is the author of 29 books and numerous articles in scholarly publications. Most of the former consist largely of translations (with commentaries) of the lyric and narrative verse of medieval Germany. He has also written about American literature.1999 0-7734-8202-4
The thirteenth-century poet who used the pseudonym Der Stricker ("The Knitter) is the earliest known composer of fables, sermonettes, and parables – examples of Kleindichtung –in the German language. Some of the Stricker's fables and parables are, as far as is known, original with him, others are new variants of works that had appeared in other lands and languages. The sermonettes are typical examples of what might be called the folk-theology of the day, drawing on oral tradition rather than directly on the Scriptures. In his verse-tales, the author proves to be a keen, often harsh social critic providing a realistic, often cynical, picture of medieval society that stands in sharp contrast to the romanticism of nearly all German literature of his century. This is the first collection of The Stricker's short narratives in English translation.