As there is no dominant national language, the four main languages of French, Italian and Romansch form the four branches which make up a literature of Switzerland. The original Swiss Confederation, from its foundation in 1291 up to 1798, gained only a few French-speaking districts in what is now the Canton of Fribourg, so the German language dominated. During that period the Swiss vernacular literature was in German, although in the 18th century, French became fashionable in Bern and elsewhere. At that time and Lausanne were not yet Swiss: Geneva was an ally and Vaud a subject land; the French branch does not begin to qualify as Swiss writing until after 1815, when the French-speaking regions gained full status as Swiss cantons. The Italian and Romansch-Ladin branches are less prominent. Like the earlier charters of liberties, the original League of 1291 was drawn up in Latin. Alliances among the cantons, as well as documents concerning the whole Confederation—the Parsons Ordinance of 1370, the Sempach Ordinance of 1393, the Compact of Stans and all the Recesses of the Diets—were compiled in German.
Political documents are not literature, but these pre-Reformation alliances rested on popular consent, were expressed in vernacular German rather than in clerkly Latin. First in order of date are the Minnesingers, the number of whom in the districts that formed part of the medieval Swiss Confederation are said to have exceeded thirty. Zürich was the chief literary centre of the Confederation; the two Manesses collected many of their songs in a manuscript that has come down to us and is preserved in Paris. The most prominent was Master John Hadlaub, who flourished in the second half of the 13th and the first quarter of the 14th centuries. Next we have a long series of war songs. One of the earliest and most famous of these was composed by Hans Halbsuter of Lucerne to commemorate the battle of Sempach, not far from his native town. There are other similar songs for the victory of Näfels and those of the battle of Grandson and battle of Morat in the Burgundian War. In the 14th century the Dominican friar Ulrich Boner of Bern versified many old fables.
More important are the historical chronicles. In the 14th century we have Christian Kuchlmaster's continuation of the annals of the famous monastery of St Gall, in the early 15th century the rhymed chronicle of the war between the Appenzellers and the abbot of St Gall, rather in the same century the chronicles of Conrad Justinger of Bern and Hans Fründ of Lucerne, besides the fantastical chronicle of Strattligen and a scarcely less fanciful poem on the supposed Scandinavian descent of the men of Schwyz and of Ober Hasle, both by Elogius Kiburger of Berne. In the 15th century, too, we have the White Book of Sarnen and the first William Tell song, which gave rise to the well-known legend, as well as the rather play named the Urnerspiel dealing with the same subject; the Burgundian War witnessed a great outburst of historical ardour in the shape of chronicles written by Diebold Schilling of Bern, by Melchior Russ, Diebold Schilling the Younger and Petermann Etterlin, all three of Lucerne as well as by Gerold Edlibach of Zürich, by Johnanes Lenz of Brugg.
In the vernacular, are the earliest descriptions of the Confederation, those by Albert von Bonstetten of Einsiedeln and by Conrad Turst of Zürich, to whom we owe the first map of the country. The Swiss humanists wrote in Latin, as did the Swiss Reformers, at any rate for the most part, though the Zürich Bible of 1531 is an exception. Nicholas Manuel, a many-sided Bernese, composed satirical poems in German against the pope, while Valerius Anshelm of Bern, wrote one of the best Swiss chronicles. Aegidius Tschudi of Glarus, despite great literary activity, published but a single German work in his lifetime, the Uralt warhafflig Alpisch Rhaetia sam pt dem Tract der anderen Alpgebirgen besides his map of Switzerland. Sebastian Munster, a Swiss by adoption, published his Cosmographia in German, the work being translated into Latin in 1550, but the many-sided Conrad Gesner, a born Swiss, wrote all his works in Latin, German translations appearing only at a date. The first important original product in German was the remarkable and elaborate history and description of Switzerland, issued in 1548 at Zürich by Johannes Stumpf of that town.
But Josias Simler, in a way his continuator, wrote all his works and geographical, in Latin. Matthew Merian engraved many plates, which were issued in a series of volumes under the general title of Topographia, the earliest volume describing Switzerland, while all had a text in German by an Austrian, Martin Zeiller. Characteristic of the age are the autobiography of the Valais scholar Thomas Platter and the diary of his still more distinguished son Felix, both written in German, though not published till long after. Swiss historical writers gave up the use of Latin for their native tongue, so Michael Stettler of Bern, Franz Haffner of Soleure, quite a number of Grisons authors, such as Bartholomäus Anhorn and his son of the same name and Johannes Guler von Wyneck. Fortunat Sprecher preferred to write his Pallas raetica in Latin, as did Fortunat von Juvalta in the case of his autobiography; the autobiography of Hans Ards
History of Austria
The history of Austria covers the history of Austria and its predecessor states, from the early Stone Age to the present state. The name Ostarrîchi has been in use since 996 AD when it was a margravate of the Duchy of Bavaria and from 1156 an independent duchy of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Austria was dominated by the House of Habsburg and House of Habsburg-Lorraine from 1273 to 1918. In 1808, when Emperor Francis II of Austria dissolved the Holy Roman Empire, Austria became the Austrian Empire, was part of the German Confederation until the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. In 1867, Austria formed a dual monarchy with Hungary: the Austro-Hungarian Empire; when this empire collapsed after the end of World War I in 1918, Austria was reduced to the main German-speaking areas of the empire, adopted the name The Republic of German-Austria. However the union and name were forbidden by the Allies at the Treaty of Versailles; this led to the creation of the First Austrian Republic. Following the First Republic, Austrofascism tried to keep Austria independent from the German Reich.
Engelbert Dollfuss accepted that most Austrians were German and Austrian, but wanted Austria to remain independent from Germany. In 1938, Austrian-born Adolf Hitler annexed Austria to the German Reich with the Anschluss, supported by a large majority of the Austrian people. Ten years after the Second World War Austria again became an independent republic as the Second Republic in 1955. Austria joined the European Union in 1995. Since the territory understood by the term'Austria' underwent drastic changes over time, dealing with a History of Austria raises a number of questions, eg. whether it is confined to the current or former Republic of Austria, or extends to all lands ruled by the rulers of Austria. Furthermore, should an Austrian history include the period 1938–1945, when it nominally did not exist? Of the lands now part of the second Republic of Austria, many were added over time – only two of the nine provinces or Bundesländer are strictly'Austria', while other parts of its former sovereign territory are now part of countries like e.g. Italy, Hungary or the Czech Republic.
Accordingly, within Austria there are regionally and temporally varying affinities to adjacent countries. Human habitation of current Austria can be traced back to the first farming communities of the early Stone Age. In the late Iron Age it was occupied by people of the Hallstatt Celtic culture, one of the first Celtic cultures besides the La Tène Culture in France; the people first organised as a nation state as a Celtic kingdom referred to by the Romans as Noricum, dating from c. 800 to 400 BC. At the end of the 1st century BC the lands south of the Danube became part of the Roman Empire, was incorporated as the Province of Noricum around 40 AD; the most important Roman settlement was at Carnuntum, which can still be visited today as an excavation site. In the 6th century, Germanic people, the Bavarii occupied these lands until it fell to the Frankish Empire in the 9th century. Around 800 AD, Charlemagne established the outpost of Avar March in what is now Lower Austria, to hold back advances from Slavs and Avars.
In the 10th century an eastern outpost of the Duchy of Bavaria, bordering Hungary, was established as the Marchia orientalis or'Margraviate of Austria' in 976, ruled by the Margraves of Babenberg. This'Eastern March', in German was known as Ostarrîchi or'Eastern Realm', hence'Austria'; the first mention of Ostarrîchi occurs in a document of that name dated 996 CE. From 1156 the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa created an independent duchy under the House of Babenberg, until its extinction in 1246, corresponding to modern Lower Austria. Following the Babenberg dynasty and a brief interregnum, Austria came under the rule of the German king Rudolf I of Habsburg, beginning a dynasty that would last through seven centuries becoming progressively distinct from neighbouring Bavaria, within the Holy Roman Empire; the 15th and early 16th century saw considerable expansion of the Habsburg territories through diplomacy and marriages to include Spain, the Netherlands and parts of Italy. This expansionism, together with French aspirations and the resultant Habsburg-French or Bourbon-Habsburg rivalry were important factors shaping European History for 200 years.
By the Edict of Worms of 28 April 1521, the Emperor Charles V split the dynasty, bestowing the hereditary Austrian lands on his brother, Ferdinand I and the first central administrative structures were established. By 1526 Ferdinand had inherited the kingdoms of Bohemia, Hungary after the Battle of Mohács which partitioned the latter; however the Ottoman Empire now lay directly adjacent to the Austrian lands. After the unsuccessful first Siege of Vienna by the Turks in 1529, the Ottoman threat persisted for another one and a half centuries; the 16th Century saw the spread of the Reformation. From around 1600 the Habsburg policy of recatholicisation or Catholic Renewal led to the Thirty Years' War. A religious war, it was a struggle for power in central Europe the French opposition to the Habsburg Holy Roman Empire; the pressure of the anti-Habsburg coalition of France and most Protestant German states contained their authority to the Austrian and Czech lands in 1648. In 1683, the Ottoman forces were beaten back from Vi
Leipzig is the most populous city in the federal state of Saxony, Germany. With a population of 581,980 inhabitants as of 2017, it is Germany's tenth most populous city. Leipzig is located about 160 kilometres southwest of Berlin at the confluence of the White Elster, Pleiße and Parthe rivers at the southern end of the North German Plain. Leipzig has been a trade city since at least the time of the Holy Roman Empire; the city sits at the intersection of the Via Regia and the Via Imperii, two important medieval trade routes. Leipzig was once one of the major European centers of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing. Leipzig became a major urban center within the German Democratic Republic after the Second World War, but its cultural and economic importance declined. Events in Leipzig in 1989 played a significant role in precipitating the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe through demonstrations starting from St. Nicholas Church. Since the reunification of Germany, Leipzig has undergone significant change with the restoration of some historical buildings, the demolition of others, the development of a modern transport infrastructure.
Leipzig today is an economic centre, the most livable city in Germany, according to the GfK marketing research institution and has the second-best future prospects of all cities in Germany, according to HWWI and Berenberg Bank. Leipzig Zoo is one of the most modern zoos in Europe and ranks first in Germany and second in Europe according to Anthony Sheridan. Since the opening of the Leipzig City Tunnel in 2013, Leipzig forms the centrepiece of the S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland public transit system. Leipzig is listed as a Gamma World City, Germany's "Boomtown" and as the European City of the Year 2019. Leipzig has long been a major center for music, both classical as well as modern "dark alternative music" or darkwave genres; the Oper Leipzig is one of the most prominent opera houses in Germany. It was founded in 1693, making it the third oldest opera venue in Europe after La Fenice and the Hamburg State Opera. Leipzig is home to the University of Music and Theatre "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy", it was during a stay in this city that Friedrich Schiller wrote his poem "Ode to Joy".
The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, established in 1743, is one of the oldest symphony orchestras in the world. Johann Sebastian Bach is one among many major composers who lived in Leipzig; the name Leipzig is derived from the Slavic word Lipsk, which means "settlement where the linden trees stand". An older spelling of the name in English is Leipsic; the Latin name Lipsia was used. The name is cognate with Lipetsk in Liepāja in Latvia. In 1937 the Nazi government renamed the city Reichsmessestadt Leipzig. Since 1989 Leipzig has been informally dubbed "Hero City", in recognition of the role that the Monday demonstrations there played in the fall of the East German regime – the name alludes to the honorary title awarded in the former Soviet Union to certain cities that played a key role in the victory of the Allies during the Second World War; the common usage of this nickname for Leipzig up until the present is reflected, for example, in the name of a popular blog for local arts and culture, Heldenstadt.de.
More the city has sometimes been nicknamed the "Boomtown of eastern Germany", "Hypezig" or "The better Berlin" for being celebrated by the media as a hip urban centre for the vital lifestyle and creative scene with many startups. Leipzig was first documented in 1015 in the chronicles of Bishop Thietmar of Merseburg as urbs Libzi and endowed with city and market privileges in 1165 by Otto the Rich. Leipzig Trade Fair, started in the Middle Ages, has become an event of international importance and is the oldest surviving trade fair in the world. There are records of commercial fishing operations on the river Pleiße in Leipzig dating back to 1305, when the Margrave Dietrich the Younger granted the fishing rights to the church and convent of St Thomas. There were a number of monasteries in and around the city, including a Franciscan monastery after which the Barfußgäßchen is named and a monastery of Irish monks near the present day Ranstädter Steinweg; the foundation of the University of Leipzig in 1409 initiated the city's development into a centre of German law and the publishing industry, towards being the location of the Reichsgericht and the German National Library.
During the Thirty Years' War, two battles took place in Breitenfeld, about 8 kilometres outside Leipzig city walls. The first Battle of Breitenfeld took place in 1631 and the second in 1642. Both battles resulted in victories for the Swedish-led side. On 24 December 1701, an oil-fueled street lighting system was introduced; the city employed light guards who had to follow a specific schedule to ensure the punctual lighting of the 700 lanterns. The Leipzig region was the arena of the 1813 Battle of Leipzig between Napoleonic France and an allied coalition of Prussia, Russia and Sweden, it was the largest battle in Europe before the First World War and the coalition victory ended Napoleon's presence in Germany and would lead to his first exile on Elba. The Monument to the Battle of the Nations celebrating the centenary of this event was completed in 1913. In addition to stimulating German nationalism, the war had a major impact in mobilizing a civic spirit in numerous volunteer activities. Many volunteer militi
Wolfram von Eschenbach
Wolfram von Eschenbach was a German knight and poet, regarded as one of the greatest epic poets of medieval German literature. As a Minnesinger, he wrote lyric poetry. Little is known of Wolfram's life. There are no historical documents which mention him, his works are the sole source of evidence. In Parzival he talks of wir Beier; this and a number of geographical references have resulted in the present-day Wolframs-Eschenbach, until 1917 Obereschenbach, near Ansbach in present-day Bavaria, being designated as his birthplace. However, the evidence is circumstantial and not without problems - there are at least four other places named Eschenbach in Bavaria, Wolframs-Eschenbach was not part of the Duchy of Bavaria in Wolfram's time; the arms shown in the Manesse manuscript come from the imagination of a 14th-century artist, drawing on the figure of the Red Knight in Parzival, have no heraldic connection with Wolfram. Wolfram's work indicates a number of possible patrons, which suggests that he served at a number of courts during his life.
In his Parzival, Wolfram states. But it has been credited by many commentators, it is noted in Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain that "the greatest poet of the Middle Ages, Wolfram von Eschenbach, could neither read nor write," and the Catholic Encyclopedia observes: "Wolfram in his Parzival tells us explicitly that he could neither read nor write. His poems were written down from dictation, his knowledge was varied rather than accurate. He knew French, but only imperfectly. Wolfram is best known today for his Parzival, sometimes regarded as the greatest of all German epics from that time. Based on Chrétien de Troyes' Perceval, le Conte du Graal, it is the first extant work in German to have as its subject the Holy Grail. In the poem, Wolfram's narrator expresses disdain for Chrétien's version of the tale, states that his source was a poet from Provence called Kyot. Wolfram is the author of two other narrative works: the fragmentary Titurel and the unfinished Willehalm; these were both composed after Parzival, Titurel mentions the death of Hermann I, which dates it after 1217.
Titurel consists of two fragments, which tell the story of Sigune. The first fragment deals with the birth of love between the main characters; the second fragment is quite different. Schionatulander and Sigune are alone in a forest, when their peace is disturbed by a mysterious dog, whose leash contains a story written in rubies. Siguna is eager to read the story. Schionatulander sets off to find him, but, as we know from Parzival, he dies in the attempt. Willehalm, an unfinished poem based on the Old French chanson de geste Aliscans, was a significant work, has been preserved in 78 manuscripts, it is set against the backdrop of the religious wars between the Saracens. The eponymous hero Willehalm kidnaps a Saracen princess, converts her to Christianity and marries her; the Saracen king raises an army to rescue his daughter. The poem has many of the distinguishing features of medieval literature: the victory of the Christians over a much larger Saracen army, the touching death of the young knight Vivian, Willehalm's nephew and the works mirror of chivalric courage and spiritual purity.
Wolfram's nine surviving songs, five of which are dawn-songs, are regarded as masterpieces of Minnesang. Dawn-songs recount the story of a knight who spends the night with his beloved lady, but at dawn has to slip away unnoticed. It's the lady who wakes the knight up in the morning, but sometimes this mission is made by the watchman. No melodies survived; the 84 surviving manuscripts of Parzival, both complete and fragmentary, indicate the immense popularity of Wolfram's major work in the following two centuries. Willehalm, with 78 manuscripts, comes not far behind. Many of these include a continuation written in the 1240s by Ulrich von Türheim under the title Rennewart; the unfinished Titurel was taken up and expanded around 1272 by a poet named Albrecht, presumed to be Albrecht von Scharfenberg and who adopts the narrative persona of Wolfram. This work is referred to as the Jüngere Titurel; the modern rediscovery of Wolfram begins with the publication of a translation of Parzival in 1753 by the Swiss scholar Johann Jakob Bodmer.
Parzival was the main source Richard Wagner used when writing the libretto to Parsifal. Wolfram himself appears as a character in Tannhäuser. In Hugo Pratt's comic book The Secret Rose, Corto Maltese speaks to a mural painting of Wolfram. In this book Corto is searching for the Holy Grail. Works by or about Wolfram von Eschenbach at Internet Archive Wolfram von Eschenbach in the Literary Encyclopedia Works List of Parzival manuscripts List of Willhalm manuscripts Two of Wolfram's songs El Grial, including songs by Wolfram von Eschenbach performed by Capella de Ministrers & Carlos Magraner
Reinmar von Hagenau
Reinmar von Hagenau was a German Minnesänger of the late twelfth century, who composed and performed love-songs in Middle High German He was regarded by his contemporaries as the greatest Minnesänger before Walther von der Vogelweide, a view shared by modern scholars.. Although there are uncertainties as to which songs can be reliably attributed to him, a substantial body of his work — over 60 songs — survives, his presentation of courtly love as the unrequited love of a knight for a lady is "the essence of classical Minesang". Nothing is known of Reinmar's life except what can be deduced from the manuscript evidence of songs recorded under his name and from remarks by contemporaries. In the Minnesang manuscripts he is referred to by his forename, Her Reinmar. In the Manesse Codex he is Her Reinmar der Alte, which serves to distinguish him from singers such as Reinmar von Brennenberg, Reinmar der Fiedler or Reinmar von Zweter; the title Her indicates a man of knightly status, but the nature and scope of the surviving œvre indicate a professional singer reliant on patronage.
Unlike Walther, who names many individuals, only one real person is mentioned in any of Reinmar songs: in the song "Si jehent der sumer der sî hie", Reinmar says "What use is a joyful time, since the lord of all joys, lies in the earth." This is taken to refer to Leopold V, Duke of Austria, who died in the winter of 1194, dating this song's composition and the presence of Reinmar at the Babenberg court in Vienna to the summer of 1195. In his literary excursus, Gottfried von Strassburg laments the death of the "nightingale of Hagenau" as the foremost Minnesanger, suggests this position now belongs to Walther. There is no Minnsänger other than Reinmar. Hagenau has been identified as the Alsatian city, modern Haguenau, the location of an imperial court of the Hohenstaufen dynasty in the twelfth century and which lies some 20 miles from Strassburg. Gottfried's proximity to this Hagenau makes it unlikely that the place referred to is one of the many places called Hagenau in Bavaria and Austria. Whether Hagenau was Reinmar's home or whether it was the court at which he first made his mark as a singer cannot be known.
Gottfried's Tristan is dated to around 1210 and Reinmar's death, therefore, to the first decade of the 13th century. Walther von der Vogelweide composed an elegy for Reinmar: "One thing is for certain, Reinmar: I mourn you much more than you would mourn me if you were alive and I had died" and this song has been dated to 1208/09, confirming the dating derived from Tristan; this elegy and the many other links between the songs of Reinmar and Walther have given rise to the notion of a literary feud between the two singers. Whether any personal animosity was involved cannot be known, but the wealth of parodistic cross-references between the two repertoires shows that audiences were familiar with the work of both singers; the point at issue in the feud was that Walther rejected Reinmar's strict adherence to the classical idea of unrequited courtly love, insisting that true love must be mutual. All the main Minnesang manuscripts have substantial collections of Reinmar's songs: MS A has 70 strophes under Reinmar's name.
MS B has 115 strophes under Reinmar's name. MS C has by far the largest collection, with 262 strophes under Reinmar's name, MS E has 164 strophes under Reinmar's name with space for 50 more strophes. In each of these manuscripts only Walther has more songs ascribed to him. Reinmar's lyrics show the romance influence, predominant since Heinrich von Veldeke and Friedrich von Hausen, they are perfect in form and "courtly" in sentiment. Passion and natural feeling are repressed, maze and propriety reign supreme. General reflections are common, concrete situations few. When, Reinmar breaks through the bounds of convention and allows his heart to speak, as in the lament for the death of the duke, put into the mouth of the duchess herself, he shows lyric gifts of a high order, but this does not happen, most of Reinmar's poems show more elegance of form than beauty of sentiment. In a society, where form was valued more than contents, such poetry was bound to meet with favour. Reinmar's paramount status, second only to Walther, in the century after his death is shown by his mention in Gottfried's literary excursus and his naming in the "Dichterkataloge" in a number of other narrative works, such as Heinrich von dem Türlin's Der Aventiure Crône and Hugo von Trimberg's Der Renner.
The meistersinger of the 15th century included Reinmar as one of the "twelve old masters" of their craft. Lachmann, Karl. "XX: Her Reinmar". Des Minnesangs Frühling. Leipzig: Hirzel. Pp. 150–204. Retrieved 19 February 2019. Moser, Hugo. "XXI: Reinmar der Alte". Des Minnesangs Frühling. I: Texts. Stuttgart: Hirzel. Pp. 285–403. ISBN 978-3777604480. Schweikle, Günther, ed.. Reinmar. Lieder. Nach der Weingartner Liederhandschrift. Mittelhochdeutsch/Neuhochdeutsch. Stuttgart: Reclam. ISBN 978-3-15-008318-5. Arthur Frank Joseph Remy. "Reinmar of Hagenau". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedi
German literature comprises those literary texts written in the German language. This includes literature written in Germany, the German parts of Switzerland and Belgium, South Tyrol in Italy and to a lesser extent works of the German diaspora. German literature of the modern period is in Standard German, but there are some currents of literature influenced to a greater or lesser degree by dialects. Medieval German literature is literature written in Germany, stretching from the Carolingian dynasty; the Old High German period is reckoned to run until about the mid-11th century. Middle High German starts in the 12th century; the Baroque period was one of the most fertile times in German literature. Modern literature in German begins with the authors of the Enlightenment; the Sensibility movement of the 1750s–1770s ended with Goethe's best-selling Die Leiden des jungen Werther. The Sturm und Drang and Weimar Classicism movements were led by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. German Romanticism was the dominant movement of the late early 19th centuries.
Biedermeier refers to the literature, the visual arts and interior design in the period between the years 1815, the end of the Napoleonic Wars, 1848, the year of the European revolutions. Under the Nazi regime, some authors went into exile and others submitted to censorship; the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to German language authors thirteen times, or the third most after English and French language authors, with winners including Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Günter Grass. Periodization is not an exact science but the following list contains movements or time periods used in discussing German literature, it seems worth noting that the periods of medieval German literature span two or three centuries, those of early modern German literature span one century, those of modern German literature each span one or two decades. The closer one nears the present, the more debated the periodizations become. Medieval German literature Old High German literature Middle High German literature Late medieval German literature/Renaissance Early Modern German literature Humanism and Protestant Reformation Baroque Enlightenment Modern German literature 18th- and 19th-century German literature Empfindsamkeit / Sensibility Sturm und Drang / Storm and Stress German Classicism Weimar Classicism or, depending on Schiller's or Goethe's death German Romanticism Biedermeier Young Germany Poetic Realism Naturalism 20th-century German literature 1900–1933 Fin de siècle Symbolism Expressionism Dada New Objectivity 1933–1945 National Socialist literature Exile literature 1945–1989 By country Federal Republic of Germany German Democratic Republic Austria Switzerland Other By thematic or group Post-war literature Group 47 Holocaust literature Contemporary German literature Medieval German literature refers to literature written in Germany, stretching from the Carolingian dynasty.
The Old High German period is reckoned to run until about the mid-11th century, though the boundary to Early Middle High German is not clear-cut. The most famous work in OHG is the Hildebrandslied, a short piece of Germanic alliterative heroic verse which besides the Muspilli is the sole survivor of what must have been a vast oral tradition. Another important work, in the northern dialect of Old Saxon, is a life of Christ in the style of a heroic epic known as the Heliand. Middle High German proper runs from the beginning of the 12th century, in the second half of the 12th century, there was a sudden intensification of activity, leading to a 60-year "golden age" of medieval German literature referred to as the mittelhochdeutsche Blütezeit; this was the period of the blossoming of MHG lyric poetry Minnesang. One of the most important of these poets was Walther von der Vogelweide; the same sixty years saw the composition of the most important courtly romances. These are written in rhyming couplets, again draw on French models such as Chrétien de Troyes, many of them relating Arthurian material, for example, Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach.
The third literary movement of these years was a new revamping of the heroic tradition, in which the ancient Germanic oral tradition can still be discerned, but tamed and Christianized and adapted for the court. These high medieval heroic epics are written in rhymed strophes, not the alliterative verse of Germanic prehistory; the Middle High German period is conventionally taken to end in 1350, while the Early New High German is taken to begin with the German Renaissance, after the invention of movable type in the mid-15th century. Therefore, the literature of the late 14th and the early 15th century falls, as it were, in the cracks
A debut novel is the first novel a novelist publishes. Debut novels are the author's first opportunity to make an impact on the publishing industry, thus the success or failure of a debut novel can affect the ability of the author to publish in the future. First-time novelists without a previous published reputation, such as publication in nonfiction, magazines, or literary journals struggle to find a publisher. Sometimes new novelists will self-publish their debut novels, because publishing houses will not risk the capital needed to market books by an unknown author to the public. Most publishers purchase rights to novels debut novels, through literary agents, who screen client work before sending it to publishers; these hurdles to publishing reflect both publishers' limits in resources for reviewing and publishing unknown works, that readers buy more books by established authors with a reputation than first-time writers. For this reason, literary communities have created awards that help acknowledge exceptional debut novels.
In contemporary British and American publishing markets, most authors receive only a small monetary advance before publication of their debut novel. For an example of an unusually high advance: in 2013, the anticipated City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg captured the attention of ten publishers who started a bidding war that ended with Knopf buying the rights to the book for 2 million dollars; the book's film production rights were purchased soon after by producer Scott Rudin. For similar reasons that advances are not large—novels don't sell well until the author gains a literary reputation. There are exceptions, however; the novel saw huge sales because she had an established audience, publishers were willing to run a large print run. By comparison, bestselling Fifty Shades of Grey sold 14,814 copies in its first week, or popular novels, like Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, only receive small initial print runs. Debut novels that do well will be reprinted as sales increase due to word of mouth popularity of the novels — publishers don't run large marketing campaigns for debut novelists.
There are numerous literary prizes for debut novels associated with genre or nationality. These prizes are in recognition of the difficulties faced by debut novelists and bring attention to deserving works and authors; some of the more prestigious awards around the world include the American Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the French Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman, the British Guardian First Book Award, the German Aspekte-Literaturpreis and the Japanese Noma Literary Prize. The New York Times commentator Leslie Jamison described the big, very public, "to do" about debut novels and novelists created by these book awards, as associated with the excitement of finding authors and writers without established legacies. In the same piece for the Times, Ayana Mathis describes the debut novel as a "a piece of the writer’s soul in a way that subsequent books can’t be", because the novel is a work of passion and a product of all of their life before that moment. An author's first novel will not be as complex stylistically or thematically as subsequent works and will not feature the author's typical literary characteristics.
Huffington Post's Dave Astor attributes these to two forces: first that authors are still learning their own unique style and audiences are more willing to read works from unknown authors if they resemble more conventional styles of literature. As examples, Astor points to J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, Margaret Atwood's The Edible Woman and Charles Dickens' The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, all of which lack the complexity or stylistic characteristics which audiences praise in the authors' work. Sometimes, instead of writing novels to begin their career, some authors will start with short stories, which can be easier to publish and allow authors to get started in writing fiction. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest attested usage of "first novel" is from 1876. However, the term is much older, with instances going back to at least 1800; the Oxford English Dictionary doesn't have an entry for "debut novel." The earliest usage of "debut novel" in the Google Books database is 1930.
The Google Books Ngram Viewer shows it becoming more used after about 1980, gaining in popularity since