Parzival Entrance

What An Entrance:

I'm reading Parzival, as I mentioned. One of the striking things about it is the German High Medieval sense of the aesthetic. It's not the understated, somber German sense you might know today! For example, here is how King Gramoflanz prepares for a ritual combat with Sir Gawan (or, as you better know him, "Gawain").

Now the king was armed. Twelve damsels took a hand, mounted on pretty palfreys. They were not to be negligent -- that lustrous company -- but each was to carry by a shaft the costly phellel-silk beneath which the king wished to arrive. Two little ladies, none too feeble -- indeed they bore the brightest sheen there -- rode with the king's stout arms about them.
Now, this is an entry that would do David Lee Roth proud. The king arrives on horseback, with twelve mounted damsels bearing a giant silk tarp above him, and two more in his lap.

Somehow, no artist has thought to render this image, which seems to me a striking omission! I can't think of anything else quite like it in Medieval literature -- but Wolfram is an interesting writer all the way around. He is also remarkable for how he insists that love and marriage be unified, as other Medieval writers did not always do. He does it consistently.

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