Heinrich der Teichner: Commentator and critic of the worlds of the court and the aristocracy

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Abstract

In the late Middle Ages poets increasingly voiced severe criticism of the social conditions of their time; they especially targeted the world of the courts and aristocracy at large. One of the most outspoken representatives of this criticism was the fourteenth-century Austrian poet Heinrich der Teichner, heretofore fairly little studied and even less known among the reading public today. He certainly relied on the traditional topos of court criticism that can be traced back at least to the twelfth and eleventh centuries, but his comments about the courts and the nobility are extremely biting and explicit. This article identifies some of the key passages in Teichner's voluminous poetic oeuvre in which he offers poignant social, moral, and political commentary about the shortcomings of his time. Teichner can be counted among the leading voices of his time particularly because of his unabashed and outspoken discussion of fundamental shortcomings among the upper level of late medieval society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-261
Number of pages25
JournalOrbis Litterarum
Volume63
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2008

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Keywords

  • Court and social criticism
  • Gnomic poetry
  • Heinrich der Teichner
  • Knights' self-centeredness
  • Late medieval German poetry
  • Social injustice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory

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