This book deals with the first 500 years of German literature (800-1300) and how it was received by contemporaries. Covering the whole spectrum of genres, from dance-songs to liturgy, heroic epics to drama, it explores which works were meant to be recited to listeners, which were destined for the individual reader, and which anticipated a twofold reception. It emphasizes this third possibility, seeing it as an example of the bicultural world of the Middle Ages, combining orality with writing, illiteracy with literacy, vernacular with Latin, lay with clerical.
'Admirable ... a very complex, well-researched and absorbing book ... highly recommended.' Icarus