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Perspektivierung des Geheimnisses einer merfaÿm

Wer sieht was in der ‚Melusine‘ des Thüring von Ringoltingen

From the book Geheimnis und Verborgenes im Mittelalter

  • Susanne Knaeble


‘Melusine’ was translated from Couldrette’s French verse romance into German prose and edited in 1456 by Thüring von Ringoltingen. This Early Modern German prose romance is significant because its narrative style is reminiscent of the Middle Ages, but also uses modern narrative techniques and values. It tells the story of Reymund, a poor born noble, who amasses a great fortune because of his wife Melusine. The secret on which this story is based is Melusine’s: she is not only a noble princess, but also a fay or demon that takes the form of a serpent from the waist down every Saturday. Ultimately, her secret is also the key to the tale of Melusine’s ancestry and the genealogical narration of the House of Lusignan. This article focuses on the shaping of perception, and I will argue that perspectives are the most relevant topic for the understanding of the secret’s conception and the text in general. Therefore, this study examines the question ‘who sees what?’ in order to show that the narration is driven by the choices and decisions of the characters and their ensuing actions.

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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