German Literature

The Nibelungenlied

Nibelungenlied_manuscript-kThe Nibelungenlied (German: Das Nibelungenlied) or Song of the Nibelungs is a middle high German epic poem whose anonymous author may have written in the early 13th century. It draws on much older oral traditions which are paralleled in Scandinavian literature, and which dimly reflects events from the 5th and 6th century.

The first half of the poem is centred on the hero Siegfried,  his wooing of the the princess Kriemhild at the court of the Burgundians, and his eventual murder. The second part takes place at the court of King Etzel, the historical Attila the Hun, where Kriemhild takes her revenge against Siegfried's killers.

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Free online texts

English translations
Gutenberg: The Nibelungenlied, translated by Daniel Bussier Shumway. HTML, EPUB, MOBI and TXT formats.
Gutenberg: The Lay of the Nibelung Men, translated by Arthur S. Way. HTML, EPUB, MOBI and TXT formats.
Gutenberg: The Nibelungenlied, translated by G.H. Needler. HTML, EPUB, MOBI and TXT formats.
Internet Archive: The Lay of the Nibelings, translated by Alice Horton, with an essay by Thomas Carlyle.  PDF, MOBI, EPUB and TCT formats.
University of Adelaide: The Nibelungenlied, translated by Daniel Bussier Shumway. HTML, EPUB, and MOBI  formats.
Wikisource: Nibelungenlied, translated by Daniel Bussier Shumway (incomplete). HTML and other formats.

German texts
Bibliotheca Augustana: Das Nibelungenlied. Multiple texts. HTML format.
Gutenberg: Das Nibelungenlied. HTML, EPUB, MOBI and TXT formats.

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Wolfram von Eschenbach: Parzival

Hermann_Hendrich_ParsifalParzival by Wolfram Von Eschenbach is a Middle High German Romance completed in the early thirteenth century. Reworking material from Chrétien de Troyes earlier Perceval, Von Eschenbach recounts Parzival's adventures at the court of King Arthur, and his pursuit of the Holy Grail, inspired by his love for Queen Condwiramurs.

Parzival was an important influence on Richard Wagner, inspiring not only his opera Parsifal, but also Lohengrin, whose title character first appears in Von Eschenbach.

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Free online texts

English translations
Gutenberg: Parzival - a Knightly Epic - Vol 1 | Vol 2, translated by Jessie L. Weston. HTML, EPUB, MOBI and TXT formats.
University of Adelaide: Parzival - a Knightly Epic, translated by Jessie L. Weston. HTML, EPUB and MOBI formats.

German texts
Bibliotheca Augustana: Parzival. HTML format.
University of Heidelberg: Parzival. Digitised manuscript from the Bibliotheca Palatina.

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Kant: The Critique of Pure Reason

Immanuel_Kant_(painted_portrait)The Critique of Pure Reason (German: Kritik der reinen Vernunft), often known as the First Critique, is a 1781 work by Immanuel Kant. It is a foundational text of modern Western philosophy, proposing a 'Copernican turn' in the approach to central questions posed by previous thinkers. Rather than assuming that the mind must conform to its objects, Kant posited that objects must conform to our minds. Objects must conform to the conditions of possible experience to be experienced at all, and so we can know that they will conform to them, but that knowledge does not extend beyond our experience, to things as they are in themselves, limiting our ability to make many traditional metaphysical claims.

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Free online texts

English translations

Early Modern Texts: The Critique of Pure Reason, adapted and translated into modern English, by Jonathan Bennett. PDF format.

Gutenberg: The Critique of Pure Reason. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Critique of Pure Reason, translated by J.M.D. Meiklejohn (Everyman's Library edition, 1934). Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: The Critique of Pure Reason, translated by J.M.D. Meiklejohn. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Multiple English translations including J.M.D. Meiklejohn, F. Max Müller and Norman Kemp Smith. HTML and other formats.

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