Wolfram von Eschenbach

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Wolfram von Eschenbach (died around 1220) was a German knight and poet, regarded as one of the greatest epic poets of his time. As a Minnesinger, he also wrote lyric poetry.
Little is known of Wolfram's life. From his name it can be determined he was born in Eschenbach (now called WolframsEschenbach) in Bavaria, near Ansbach, and it is known that he served at a number of courts in his life. It is also thought that he was illiterate, because in Parzival he says that his work was recorded by dictation, though his meaning is still disputed by scholars.
Wolfram is best known today for his Parzival, sometimes regarded as the greatest of all German epics from that time. It is the first extant work in German to have as its subject the Holy Grail, and it has been suggested that Wolfram derived much of the story from Chretien de Troyes' Perceval. In the poem, Wolfram expresses disdain for Chretien's (unfinished) version of the tale, and states that his source was a poet from Provence called Kyot. Kyot has not been satisfactorily identified. Some scholars believe Wolfram might have meant Gui de Provençe (though none of the latter's surviving works relate to the themes of Parzival) or others. It is equally likely that Kyot was simply a literary device invented by Wolfram.
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Parzival was the main source Richard Wagner used when writing the libretto to his opera, Parsifal. Wolfram himself appears as a character in another Wagner opera, Tannhäuser.
Bibliography
 Otto Springer. "Wolfram's Parzival" in Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages, Roger S. Loomis (ed.). Clarendon Press: Oxford University. 1959. ISBN 0198115881
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