Fables, Sermonettes, and Parables by the Stricker, 13th Century German Poet, in English Translation

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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.


"Adding yet another jewel to his extraordinary string of some two dozen English translations of important medieval German texts, J. W. Thomas makes accessible to scholars and students alike a substantial sampling of Der Stricker's brief narratives. . . Thomas is a master translator who has earned the respect of every medievalist. The accuracy of his renderings is beyond reproach; his style is elegant but never ponderous, restrained but never coy, eminently readable but never overly colloquial. This book leaves the reader yearning for more – more of Der Stricker and more of J. W. Thomas." – Rupert T. Pickens

"Professor Thomas' translation will be hailed by comparatists, students of brief fiction, writers interested in narrative techniques, and by the oft-mentioned and all-important educated general public." – John E. Keller

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