“Mit grôzen listen wart gestalt”: The Element of List in Thirteenth-Century Courtly Romances, with Emphasis on Heinrich Von Dem Türlin’s Diu Crône
Shockey, Gary C.
Comitatus Vol.31 (2000)
Within the greater corpus of courtly romance in the thirteenth century, the concept of list, or cunning, assumes a particularly alluring position. Poets and philosophers throughout the whole of the Middle Ages were clearly fascinated by the notion of a knight, a king, a lady of the court, a seneschal, or a scoundrel twisting others in such a manner as to achieve remarkable success in some venture. The ambiguities of the human condition most likely led men and women to exploit weaknesses in others for personal or professional gain, as well as for the benefit of the realm or sovereign. Clever cunning, guile, and the substance of the quick-thinking man or woman proved to be riveting material for both courtly audiences and the emerging bourgeoisie in the cities and towns, and we are blessed with a variety of texts which demonstrate the art of perspicacity in a myriad of forms.