Neohelicon

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 543–557 | Cite as

The innovative perception of space (Europe) in late medieval German literature: the spatial turn in light of Eleonore of Austria’s Pontus und Sidonia (ca. 1450–1460)

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Abstract

The meaning of space with respect to human beings finds vivid expression in literary texts throughout world history. But even though literary protagonists travel on a regular basis and thus experience themselves and the reality around them quite dramatically, space remained a rather vague dimension far throughout the Middle Ages. By the fifteenth century, however, we recognize a noteworthy paradigm shift regarding the perception and relevance of space as a relevant entity determining the individual’s life, as reflected by poets and writers across Europe. After reviewing how most medieval poets dealt with space, this phenomenon is then discussed particularly in light of Eleonore of Austria’s Pontus und Sidonia (ca. 1450–1460), where the western world of Europe in its geo-political dimension emerges perhaps more clearly than ever before and where space in concrete geo-political terms matters significantly, setting a new tone which would lead over to the early modern age and facilitated an astounding popularity of this novel far into the eighteenth century.

Keywords

Space in ancient and medieval literature The spatial turn in the late Middle Ages Eleonore of Austria Pontus und Sidonia England in late medieval German literature Courtly love and marriage Political dimension in medieval literature 

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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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