Public Event

Historiography, Hagiography, and the Rise of Vernacular Fiction
Monday, September 8, 2003
7:30 pm
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
500 S. Goodwin Ave
Urbana (View Map)

Marianne E Kalinke
CAS Professor of Germanic Languages and of Comparative Literature

With the fall of the Roman Empire and the invasions of the Germanic tribes, a literate culture was submerged by an oral one. As the pagan Germanic peoples became Christianized, the literate and Latin culture of the clergy began to coexist with the illiterate and vernacular culture of the laity. Until well into the twelfth century the written literature in German was produced by the clergy and was almost exclusively religious and historiographical. Then suddenly in mid-century German fiction was born. What prompted the rise of vernacular fiction and what were its roots?